1. Learn Vocabulary - Learn some new vocabulary before you start the lesson.
2. Read and Prepare - Read the introduction and prepare to hear the audio.
We all need somebody else to stand up for us sometimes. When we’re kids, it’s our parents who protect us and make sure others treat us fairly. As adults, we have friends and family members who help us in different ways. And at work, many people belong to a union that’s there to stand up for their rights as workers.
Unions help fight for things like higher pay, health insurance, paid vacations and better working conditions. Some people dislike unions because they think they have too much power. But many workers rely on a union to stand up for them. Hear Amy and Marni discuss unions.
1. Listen and Read - Listen to the audio and read the dialog at the same time.
2. Study - Read the dialog again to see how the vocab words are used.
Amy: I’ve always supported unions just kind of generally, in principle. But I belong to a union, and I actually just benefited in a real way from belonging to a union.
Marni: I agree, actually, because I too am a member of a union, teacher’s union, and they’re really there to support workers’ rights and to support us as individuals. But you know, there’s been such a backlash recently against unions in this country. And, you know, with both of us being members of a union, I think we’re both on the defensive, because we know how much it benefits us. But I think people think unions have too much power.
Amy: It does seem like people have this idea that unions are this big, dark, powerful force. But that seems so crazy to me when unions were started to help people who had no power, you know? Like, they were…the whole point of unions is to kind of fight back against the bosses and the people who naturally have the power in a working situation. And so, it seems really weird that now the tables have turned and we think the unions are the villains.
Amy and Marni both belong to unions. They both say that they have benefited from belonging to a union. Unions help workers get things like health insurance and higher pay.
On the other hand, some people dislike unions. They think unions have too much power. People often get annoyed when unions go on strike. Strikes are one tool that unions use to get more rights and benefits for workers.
Amy doesn’t think unions have too much power. She says their purpose is to stand up for people who don’t have much power at all. She and Marni agree that unions shouldn’t be seen as villains.
Do you have unions in your country? Do you think the unions are a good or bad thing?