It’s your right to organize a union!
What is a union ?
A union is simply a group of workers joined together to speak with one voice and great strength. Forming a union puts workers on equal footing with management and gives workers a say in the decisions that affect them. As a union, workers negotiate a contract with their employer. That contract is a legally binding document that guarantees job improvements in writing. Workers who are part of the union can also use their strength to have a voice in political and governmental decisions that affect their jobs, families and communities.
Your Legal Rights
You have a legal right under Section 7 of the NLRA to join or support a union and to:
• Attend meetings to discuss forming a union.
• Read, distribute, and discuss union literature in non-work areas and on non-work time, during breaks and lunch hours, and before and after your shift.
• Sign a card or petition asking your employer to recognize and bargain with your union.
• Sign petitions or file grievances related to wages, hours, working conditions, and other job related issues.
• Ask other employees to support the union, to sign union cards or petitions, wear union items, or to file grievances.
• Dignity and respect at work
• Retirement security with a pension
• Quality, affordable healthcare
• Decent pay and regular raises
• Protection from unjust discipline
• A voice for working people in our communities.
The National Labor Relations Act (NLRA)
Your rights are clearly spelled out
Sections 7 and 8 of the Act:
Section 7 — “Employees shall have the right to self organization, to form, join, or assist labor organizations, to bargain collectively through representation of their own choosing, and to engage in other concerted activities for the purpose of collective bargaining . . . .”
Section 8 — “It shall be unfair labor practice for an employer . . . to interfere with, restrain, or coerce employees in the exercise of their rights guaranteed in Section 7 . . . .”
Protection From Employer Action
Your employer cannot legally:
• Threaten to, or actually fire, layoff, discipline, harass, transfer, or reassign employees because they support the union.
• Favor employees who don’t support the union over those who do in promotions, job assignments, wages, hours, enforcement of rules, or any other working condition.
• Shut down the work site or take away any benefit or privileges employees already enjoy in order to discourage union activity.
• Promise employees a pay increase, promotion, benefit or special favor if they oppose the union.
New members don’t pay any dues until they negotiate their first contract. Every organization needs funding to operate, and unions are no different. Union members put their money together to build a stronger organization. This money is used for negotiating contracts, handling grievances, organizing new members, research, political action to protect the rights of working people, educational programs and publications, mobilization of our members and the public to support our goals, safety and health programs. By the way, union dues are only about $10 weekly — a true bargain considering the wages, benefits, and protection that contracts win for members.