Want to Organize?
Joining a union or forming a union of your own at your workplace isn't as hard as you might think, but it's important to understand the process. Almost all workers in the United States have the legal right to Unionize and to advocate for things like Higher Wages, Better Benefits and Safer Working Conditions.
Unions are a democracy and everyone gets a vote. In unionized workplaces, employers are legally required to negotiate with the workers to resolve workplace issues.
Contrary to anti-union propaganda, if a small portion of your coworkers don't want to join a union but a majority want to join, those employees have a right not to join the union and cannot be fired for choosing not to join. Unions are about protecting workers, not getting them fired.
How To Start
The first step to organizing your workplace is by talking with your coworkers, find out what issues bring them together. Everyone wants better pay, but maybe no health insurance or unfair shift assignments are what people are really mad about. Chances are that if you're reading this you already have an issue in mind and recognize that there is something you and your coworkers can do about it.
You've already recognized that you and your coworkers can come together to improve your workplace, the next step is to contact an organization who can help you through the process. Unions exist to help all workers, not just the union members and will work with you to guide and encourage your organization efforts.
For help organizing, contact us HERE.
Organizing is about building power and solidarity amongst your fellow workers. The more you and your coworkers recognize that there are steps towards building power and making demands for a better workplace, the quicker and more permanent the improvements will be.
If you can get an overwhelming majority of workers to demand change and voice a desire for union recognition your employer may voluntarily recognize you as a union and negotiations can begin right away. If the workplace is divided, or the employer wishes to fight the organizing efforts, workers with the help of organizers can hold an NLRB Union Certification Election. This process is legally protected and if successful, the employer must recognize the workers demands and negotiate with them.
Before looking at the entire process it is important to remember not to be discouraged. The process may seem complicated but you are not in this alone. Having one or two trustworthy coworkers and outside help from a union or organizer will greatly increase your chances of success.
There are 3 groups in the Organizing Process.
The Employees - That's you and your coworkers, with help from a union organizer or group of organizers.
The Employer - This is the company you work for. Whether it is one person who owns the business or a big corporation.
The NLRB - The National Labor Relations Board. This is the federal institution that mediates the relationships between Employees and Employers. They are a neutral 3rd Party whose job it is to certify union elections and make sure that employers follow the law during the process.
The entire process can be explained in a few steps, the first two you already know:
The Employees show interest in organizing. The more the better.
The Employees contact a union or an organizer. They will help you build support and will be able to provide you with NLRB approved Authorization Cards. The Employees sign authorization cards that get sent to the NLRB, the card tells the NLRB that you want to form a union.
The NLRB collects the cards and contacts The Employer. The NLRB counts the cards and compares it to the number of eligible employees working for The Employer.
If at least 30% of Eligible Employees sign the cards, The NLRB will hold an election.
The NLRB holds an election, if a simple majority (>50%) of The Employees vote YES for union representation, the NLRB certifies the Union.
SUCCESS! The Employer must now negotiate with the Union. If The Employees voted to be represented by an existing union, agents from that union will now work with the new members to negotiate with the employer. If forming a new union, employees will appoint leadership to negotiate with the employer.
Want to know more, contact us HERE.