YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO JOIN A UNION!
“Employees shall have the right to self-organization, to form, join, or assist labor organizations, to bargain collectively through representation or their own choosing, and to engage in other concerted activities for the purpose of collective bargaining…”
SECTION 8 (A):
“It shall be an unfair labor practice for an employer… to interfere with, restrain, or coerce employees in the exercise of the rights guaranteed in Section 7….”
HERE ARE SOME THINGS YOU CAN EXPECT TO HEAR &
THE FACTS YOU NEED TO KNOW
MANAGEMENT: THE UNION WILL BE RUN BY OUTSIDERSFACT: YOU AND YOUR CO-WORKERS WILL VOTE FOR YOUR OWN RULES, AND RUN YOUR OWN AFFAIRS. YOU ELECT THE PEOPLE TO RUN YOUR UNION. YOU RUN YOUR UNION.
MANAGEMENT: THE UNION CANNOT DO ANYTHING FOR YOU.FACT: WITH A UNION CONTRACT, WORKERS CAN DO A LOT FOR THEMSELVES. THE COMPANY KNOWS THIS. THEIR AIM IN KEEPING THE UNION OUT IS TO KEEP YOU FROM HAVING A VOICE.
MANAGEMENT: THE UNION WILL FORCE YOU TO GO OUT ON STRIKE.FACT: NOBODY CAN FORCE YOU TO GO OUT ON STRIKE. THERE WILL NEVER BE A STRIKE AT YOUR WORKPLACE UNLESS THE WORKERS VOTE FOR ONE.
MANAGEMENT: WITH NEGOTIATIONS, YOU WILL LOSE THE WAGES AND BENEFITS YOU ALREADY HAVE. YOU’LL HAVE TO START FROM SCRATCH.FACT: WHEN YOU NEGOTIATE A FIRST CONTRACT, YOU START WITH THE PAY AND BENEFITS YOU HAVE NOW AND BUILD ON THEM. YOU WILL DECIDE WHAT TO ASK FOR IN YOUR CONTRACT, THEN VOTE ON IT.
YOUR LEGAL RIGHTS
You have the legal right under Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act to join or support a union and to:
- Attend Meetings to discuss joining a union
- Read, distribute, and discuss union literature (as long as you do this in non-work areas during non-work times, such as during breaks or lunch hours.)
- Wear union buttons, T-Shirts, stickers, hats, or other items on the job.
- Sign a card asking your employer to recognize and bargain with the union.
- Ask other employees to support the union, to sign union cards or petition, or to file grievances.
SECRET BALLOT ELECTIONS
To establish a union in a workplace, a majority of employees must express support for the Union. In most situations, the employees prove majority support through a secret ballot election conducted by the National Labor Relations Board.
PROTECTION FROM EMPLOYER ACTION
Under Section 8 of the National Labor Relations Act, your employer cannot legally punish or discriminate against any worker because of union activity.
“GOOD FAITH” BARGAINING
After the union’s election victory is officially certified by the National Labor Relations Board, your employer is legally required to negotiate in “good faith” with the Union on a written contract covering wages, hours and other working conditions.
In 1975 the United States Supreme Court, in the case of NLRB v. J. Weingarten, Inc., 420 (1975), upheld a National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) decision that employees have a right to union representation at investigatory interviews. These rights have become known as the Weingarten Rights.
During an investigatory interview, the Supreme Court ruled that the following rules apply:
Rule 1: The employee must make a clear request for union representation before or during the interview. The employee cannot be punished for making this request.
Rule 2: After the employee makes the request, the employer must choose from among three options:
- grant the request and delay questioning until the union representative arrives and (prior to the interview continuing) the representative has a chance to consult privately with the employee;
- deny the request and end the interview immediately; or
- give the employee a clear choice between having the interview without representation, or ending the interview.
Rule 3: If the employer denies the request for union representation, and continues to ask questions, it commits an unfair labor practice and the employee has a right to refuse to answer. The employer may not discipline the employee for such a refusal.
In July 2000, the NLRB under the Clinton administration extended the Weingarten Rights to employees at nonunionized workplaces. On June 15, 2004, the NLRB under the George W. Bush administration effectively reversed the previous ruling by a three to two vote.