Johnathan Young - From Steward to VMO

Working a non-union job quickly taught Johnathan Young the importance of union representation. One day at his non-union job, within fifteen minutes he had a $3 per hour pay cut without a single conversation, just a mandate from the employer. After this incident, he became anxious to find more secure employment and found a position with the City of Battle Creek as Airport Operation.

When he started with the city, it was before Right to Work and the Janus Decision,so he was a union member on his first day of employment.

“Since I was in, I wanted to know what was going on, so I would go to meetings. I remember when I got there it was the middle of contract time…I remember just asking questions and trying to figure out how do we do this to get what we want,” said Young.

From asking questions he quickly developed into a strong union advocate, and when a steward position opened up his coworker appointed him.

“The thing I like most about the union is having a voice. I understand that my 40-hour work week came from all the hard work and fighting that the unions did back in the day.”

Now he has taken his role as a Steward for Local 1387 – Municipal Employees Battle Creek a step further by becoming an active Volunteer Member Organizer, a VMO. He has participated in two internal organizing blitzes in both Flint and Detroit, hours from his hometown of Battle Creek.

“I think participating in these blitzes is going to help me, especially going back to my members. We will deploy some of these same tactics to get our members signed up for a stronger local.” He said.

If you want to become a Volunteer Member Organizer and learn tactics to increase your power in the workplace, click the link below. The power to stand with your union siblings across the state is in your hands!