Guide to Organizing a Union

Step 1: Initial Process

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Meeting with a Union Representative, learning about your rights and how to go about forming your Union in your workplace is the first step. Then, you need a sufficient number of employees to sign Authorization Cards. The NLRB requires that at least 30% of the affected employees sign cards before they will conduct an election. A fair minded employer may voluntarily recognize a Union as the employees' bargaining representative if a majority of the affected employees have signed Authorization Cards. THEREFORE, THE FIRST STEP IS TO SIGN A MAJORITY AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.

Step 2: Request Recognition

Once a majority status has been reached, your Union will request voluntary recognition. If your employer agrees, a mutually selected impartial person will verify the cards against the payroll listing. Most employers WILL NOT voluntarily recognize your Union. If not, we will then petition the NLRB for a secret ballot election.

Step 3: NLRB Petition

Once a petition has been filed, the NLRB will schedule a "unit hearing" to determine the eligible voters. At this time your employer will begin the anti-union campaign in an effort to convince you that you don't need a Union. Look for raises and other promises of benefit increases. Look for leaflets at work and letters sent to your home; anything in an effort to convince you to vote against your Union.

Step 4: Hold Election

Once the NLRB has determined the proper voting unit, they will schedule a SECRET BALLOT ELECTION. Your employer is not allowed in the polling area during the election. The election is actually conducted by an agent of the NLRB.

Step 5: Contract Negotiations

When you have won your election or secured voluntary recognition, the Union will conduct a contract proposal meeting(s) to assist you in putting together your contract proposals. At this time, you will also elect from among your coworkers an employee negotiating committee to assist and attend the actual contract negotiations along with the Union Representatives.

When the committee feels that they have reached a final contract offer, a ratification meeting will be held. At this meeting we will explain the entire contract, discuss it and then vote to accept or reject the contract. Only if a majority of the employees vote to accept the contract does it go into effect. Only then will you become a Union Member.

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