What does it take to organize a union at my workplace?

There are many components involved to organize a union among employees. The foundation of any organizing campaign is the willingness of several employees to become part of an active in-house organizing committee.

What is the role of the organizing committee?

The organizing committee works closely with the HNA organizers during all phases of the organizing campaign. They will help gather employees’ home addresses, phone numbers, e-mail addresses, work locations, shifts, etc. The organizing committee also follows through on assignments such as: distributing union information, providing feedback, strategy planning, helping prepare leaflets, making phone calls and getting their fellow employees to sign authorization cards. The committee should be diverse and reflective of the workforce.                                  

Do employees have the legal right to unionize?

Yes, the law protects employees’ rights to participate in union activity. Employees cannot be fired or intimidated for their participation. Employees must conduct union organizing activities during free time and in non-work areas.   

Once the committee is formed and necessary information gathered what is the next step?

The next step is to get employees to show their interest to unionize by signing authorization cards. The signed cards are used to achieve majority support for union representation and to get a secret ballot election conducted by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).  Employees should only sign cards if they are serious about union representation and not just to have an election.

When would we have an election?

After approximately 65% of the eligible employees have signed authorization cards the HNA files an application for a secret ballot election at the NLRB. After the NLRB receives the application it conducts an investigation. Once the NLRB determines that all procedures have been fulfilled an election is scheduled.  

What is the process for the secret ballot election?

The secret ballot election is conducted by the NLRB among all eligible employees at a mutually agreeable worksite location. It takes 50% plus 1 of who votes to win an election. 

When does the collective bargaining process begin?

After an election is won the employer must, by law, begin negotiations with the Union. Before negotiations commence all employees would be surveyed. Contract proposals would be prepared from the surveys. The employees also would elect a bargaining team. The bargaining team would work closely with the HNA skilled negotiator throughout all phases of negotiations.