If You’re Not at the Table,
You’re on the Menu!
Starting a union is like growing closer to your family. Sometimes workers often spend 8, 10, and 12 hours each day with their coworkers; that’s more than one may spend with their family on a given workday. That’s why it’s essential we look out for each other, because if management can get away with mistreating one worker, it will only be a matter of time before it happens to you. What will you do when new management replaces the current “nice management” and working conditions change and become unfair? Will you have the ability to challenge the unfair discipline passed down by new management? When new or unfair employee policies are rolled out, will you have the ability to contest them? These are just a few of the reasons why standing together with your coworkers and exercising your legal rights (www.NLRA.org) to come together as a family to ensure when things change, your working conditions do not. Find out more about union life by filling out the contact form below.
I want to join the IAM. Where do I start?
Step 1: Get together with other co-workers who would like to see a union at your place of work.
Step 2: Contact us!
Step 3: We’ll talk to you about the legal process of forming a union and help you strategize on how to get more of your co-workers involved.
Step 4: Build support for a union. Building support is done in several ways. First, we will provide you with the support and knowledge to talk to your co-workers about the IAM, collective bargaining, and what it means to live union. We will also host periodic meetings in which you can invite your co-workers.
Step 5: Hold a Union Election
Wait, there’s an election? How does that work?
If there is enough interest among your group, the IAM will file a “Petition” for representation with The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). Interest is typically gauged by the percentage of workers who have signed authorization cards. A “hearing” is then needed to define the “unit.” Next, the company and the IAM need to determine who the union will represent among the group of employees. There are specific individuals such as Supervisors that may not belong in the union. Once the “unit” is defined, we contact everyone in the unit to answer any questions they may have and again assess the level of support. Elections are secret ballots and are usually held at your place of employment. The IAM becomes your official bargaining representative if 50% +1 of those voting cast a “yes” ballot.
That doesn’t sound very easy. Can’t the company “recognize” the union?
Yes. If a majority of your co-workers sign authorization cards, we can ask the company to recognize the IAM as your bargaining representative. The company has no obligation to do so, however. And while there are cases where the company will recognize the union, most of the time, management will push to keep the workplace union-free.
Why would the company fight unionization?
Because they’re worried about losing power and control, management holds all the cards right now. Coming together in union so you can negotiate collectively over your wages, benefits, and more will change that.
What can I expect from the “anti-union” campaign?
Lies, and lots of them!
Management will also probably hire a high-priced anti-union law firm. Their primary objective: instill fear in the workplace. They’ll try and scare you by peddling lies, and half-truths such as you’ll lose money during negotiations, the IAM will take you out on strike, etc. There will be pressure from management through letters, speeches, and one-on-one “chats.” There will be captive-audience meetings. They will almost certainly ask for a “second chance” and promise improvements. They may even make superficial changes meant to address your concerns. Just remember – without a negotiated agreement, nothing is guaranteed.
So, how do we fight back?
It starts with using non-work time and breaks to voice your support for the union. This will ease the fears of some by letting them know they aren’t the only ones who want to see a change in the workplace. And remember, it is illegal for any company to fire, demote or penalize an employee because of their union support.
That seems like an awful lot of work. Is it worth it?
Every one of us who puts in an honest day’s work deserves to have the ability to follow our true passions and live life doing the things we love. Unfortunately, in too many cases, that’s not how it works. Our wages remain stagnant while executives and management reap the spoils of our work. We miss fishing trips, soccer games, or whatever fulfills us because we are forced to work on our days off. Each year our benefits seem to get worse and worse.
The ONLY way to truly counter this is with the power of many. That means working together to change the rules in our workplaces. In doing this, we’ll start building better lives for those of us that are creating the products and providing the services that make our nation great.
So… Yes. It’s worth it.