USWU is comprised of 18 affiliated local unions. USWU’s local unions are the driving force behind the growth USWU has enjoyed. Our local unions represent our traditional and long-term membership, and also are continually branching out into new areas and industries. We aggressively defend our members’ rights through the grievance and arbitration process and in the current economic climate, our efforts are of vital importance. Our members continue to enjoy the best representation available and are working under collective bargaining agreements that are frequently setting the standards for their industries.

While there has been a shift amongst other unions within the labor movement to trustee or consolidate memberships into mega-locals where there is little democracy or opportunity for members to be heard, USWU continues to promote union democracy and membership participation through member-run locals. 

Another structural feature of the USWU is its Joint Council 1217, which affiliated with USWU in 2007. Joint Council 1217 provides support and assistance to four USWU Locals. The Joint Council allows these local unions to share administrative functions, thus keeping costs low and efficiency high. The formation of this intermediate body is yet another example of how USWU in partnership with its affiliates seeks to streamline operations and keep resources available for affiliates.