Help! I need a union.

How do I start a union in my workplace?

It’s our job to help with that. No matter your questions, we’re here to answer them and serve you.

No experience with unions? No problem. You can start a labor or trade union at almost any company as long as you and your coworkers decide your job would be better with a union to back you up.

Why Unions?

When employees feel they don’t have a voice, they sometimes find that strength in numbers helps meet their needs.

In a union, problems are solved more effectively since they’re negotiated by a group. Additionally, aspects of the job that were previously out of their control like hours worked, pay, and benefits are cemented in a legally-binding contract.

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I’d like to talk to a UFCW Local 1994 organizer to find out more about starting a union at my workplace.

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Steps to Unionizing

Preparation

Are you being treated unfairly on the job? Do you feel powerless? You are likely not the only one. Talk discreetly with your coworkers to determine if they are interested in working together to form a union.

Once you gather enough support, you can begin to assemble a committee of your peers to begin an organizing drive. The organizing committee members should consist of various departments, jobs, genders and ethnicities so you have fair representation.

Once your committee is formed, together, they’ll develop a list of demands or issues they’d like to see improve.

Committee members will then solicit employees to back their union.

During this time, you will want keep all discussions private.

Know your rights

You have the right to affirm, join or assist a union at your workplace. This includes your right to distribute union literature, wear union buttons and t-shirts, or other insignia (except in unusual “special circumstances”), solicit coworkers to sign union authorization cards, and discuss the union with coworkers. Supervisors and managers cannot spy on you (or make it appear that they are doing so), coercively question you, threaten you or bribe you regarding your union activity or the union activities of your co-workers. You can’t be fired, disciplined, demoted, or penalized in any way for engaging in these activities.

Working time is for work, so your employer may maintain and enforce non-discriminatory rules limiting solicitation and distribution, except that your employer cannot prohibit you from talking about or soliciting for a union during non-work time, such as before or after work or during break times; or from distributing union literature during non-work time, in non-work areas, such as parking lots or break rooms. Also, restrictions on your efforts to communicate with co-workers cannot be discriminatory. For example, your employer cannot prohibit you from talking about the union during working time if it permits you to talk about other non-work-related matters during working time.

Campaign Requirements

To become eligible for an election, at least 30% of employees must show support, although some committees wait to announce representation until 50% or more of employees sign.

At this point, your campaign will likely be public and you can start handing out flyers, pamphlets, and other informative materials.

The Election

After you meet the minimum threshold required for organizing, you’ll submit a petition to the NLRB.

They’ll conduct an investigation into your union’s legitimacy. Once your union is qualified, NLRB agents will facilitate an agreement between your employer and members of your union to determine the setting for election.

This includes date, time, place, and ballot language. A union becomes certified if they win a majority of votes cast.

I'm Ready to Get Started!

I’d like to talk to a UFCW Local 1994 organizer to find out more about starting a union at my workplace.

Request a call back using the form below.

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