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  • Organizing Tools
    Aug 21, 2012

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    You have the legal right under Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act to join or support a union and to:

    1. Attend meetings to discuss joining a union.
    2. 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.)
    3. Wear union buttons, T-shirts, stickers, hats, or other items on the job.
    4. Sign a card asking your employer to recognize and bargain with the union.
    5. Sign petitions or file grievances related to wages, hours, working conditions, and other job issues.
    6. Ask other employees to support the union, to sign union cards or petitions, 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.

    "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.

     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.
    1. Threaten to or actually fire, lay off, discipline, harass, transfer, or reassign employees because they support the union.
    2. 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.
    3. Shut down the work site or take away any benefits or privileges employees already enjoy in order to discourage union activity.
    4. Promise employees a pay increase, promotion, benefit, or special favor is they oppose the union.

    Enforcing your rights

    Some employers try to prevent the workers from joining a union.

    The best way to encourage your employer to recognize your union and negotiate a fair contract is to build a strong organization where you work.

    If your employer violates the law, the union can help you file "unfair labor practice" charges with the National labor Relations Board.

    The Labor Board has the power - backed up by the federal courts - to order an employer to stop interfering with employee rights, to provide back pay, and to reverse any action taken against workers for union activity.

    You can help protect your legal rights by:

    1. Keeping written notes of any incidents in which company officials or supervisors threaten, harass, or punish workers because of union activity.
    2. Immediately reporting any such incidents your Labor Relations Representative. Your notes don't have to be worded a certain way, but you should include what was said or done, who was involved, where and when it happened, and the names of any witnesses.


    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 (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 ..."

    Dec 01, 2005

    Nov 28, 2005

    Steps To Forming a Union:

     Step One

    Form a CORE Group
    To ensure organizing success, it is essential to identify a core group of people who want to be ambassadors for change in your workplace. In partnership with UPSEU Local 1222, this core group will take the lead in organizing and educating your peers about the benefits of union membership.

    Throughout the organizing process, UPSEU Local 1222 will be by your side. We will answer your questions and offer informational training that will provide you with:

    •  a general understanding of the labor movement and the benefits of organizing
    • an overview of the law and how it will affect your organizing efforts
    • insights about what kind of anti-union propaganda you can expect from management and how to respond effectively    

    Step 2

    Build Support for the Union
    If you have a group of people who want improved working conditions, including wages and benefits, then UPSEU Local 1222 can help. UPSEU Local 1222 has earned its reputation as one of the most prominent, hardworking and influential unions in the country by negotiating top-notch contracts and winning landmark legal cases on behalf of its members.

    To help you build support for UPSEU Local 1222 within your organization, we can supply you with professional letters and brochures that clearly define the benefits of union membership. Additionally, union representatives will be at your disposal to host information sessions for your co-workers.

    Step 3

    Distribute Authorization Cards
    The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), an agency of the federal government, requires workers interested in forming a union to sign authorization cards. By signing an authorization card you are not officially joining the union. You are simply showing the NLRB that you are interested in forming a union.

    After UPSEU Local 1222 has collected a majority (approximately 65%) of your co-workers signatures on authorization cards, UPSEU Local 1222 will request a secret ballot election by filing a petition with the NLRB. This is the most common way for workers to become organized.  

     Step 4

      Negotiate a Contract
      Once you've voted to form a union, your unit will vote to elect a contract negotiating committee to represent the members in contract negotiations. Working in partnership with UPSEU Local 1222’s seasoned negotiators, your negotiating team will bargain with management on your wages and working conditions including job descriptions; staffing language; insurance, health and retirement benefits; and more.

      When your negotiating committee has reached a tentative contract agreement with management, all of the bargaining unit employees will vote to accept or reject the contract. Once a majority of the bargaining unit members vote to ratify the contract, your employer will be legally bound to abide by the contract.


      Page Last Updated: Aug 21, 2012 (08:09:03)
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