To form a union at your place of employment
there are five steps that you will need to take and are addressed in the above
flow chart. These steps are: Know your
rights, gather information, build the union, make the union official and
negotiate and win the contract (OPEIU, n.d.).
Before you begin the process, you must begin to meet with others with
the same concerns you have at your workplace after hours and away from work
In step one (1) you begin to meet with those
with the same concerns. You start to
research your rights in forming a union.
This information can be found in the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA)
website (www.nlrb.gov). Basically, it
states that employees and employers have protected civil rights and are
encouraged to jointly bargain, to limit private sector labor and management practices,
which can be a danger to the over-all well-being of workers, businesses and the
U.S. economy (NLRB, n.b.).
The next step is to gather information. Meeting with your fellow co-workers and going
over the concerns. Is there a common
concern that workers would like to address?
For example, possibly pay is not equal in all areas of the company. Additional information will be who will
represent the workers, how will communication be delivered to co-workers, and will
there be political representation?
Once all the information is gathered and questions
are answered the next step is to build the union. To create the union, you will need leadership
or a committee many times called “Organizing Committee”. This committee will be the ones that will
educate the workers in the benefits of creating a union, explain the rights to
create a union, plans a strategy and keeps the co-workers motivated (OPEIU,
The fourth step is to make the union “official”
(OPEIU, n.d.). Here the co-workers
interested in organizing a union have signed authorization cards. Then a request to become an official union is
sent into the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) or your employer can
voluntarily recognize the union (OPEIU, n.d.).
The final step is to negotiate the contract and
win. Once the union is official either through
the NLRB or the voluntary recognition of the employer, you begin negotiations
with your employer. Based on what you
and your co-workers are wanting to change and improve upon you will present
those to the employer and they will be legally required to negotiate in good
faith with your union (OPEIU, n.d.). These
negotiations will have to be in writing.
The union will vote on the contract and the different aspects presented
by the employer.
The union organizing process
is different in the public sector in comparison to the private sector in that federal
law allows private sector employees the right to join unions, negotiate with
employers for wages and working conditions, and take action on concerns they
may have in their working conditions this also includes the right to strike. The public sector employees are not allowed the
same (Raines, n.d.).
The role of the National
Labor Relations Board is
Describe the roles of the National Labor Relations
Board (NLRB) compared to the Federal Labor Relations Authority (FLRA).
several labor organizations that are administered by the Department of Labor’s
Office of Labor-Management Standards in accordance to the Labor-Management
Reporting and Disclosure Act of 1959.
Two that will be described here are the NLRB and Federal Labor Relations
Authority (Labor Relations, 2015). The
NLRB deals primarily with the private sector, administers the National Labor
Relations Act by having elections to determine whether employees want union
representation and investigating and alleviating unfair labor practices by
employers and unions. The FLRA provides
leadership in starting policies and guidance related to federal-sector labor management
issues such as the resolution of disputes and ensuring compliance with the
Federal Service Labor Management Relations Statute (Labor Relations, 2015).
According to the NLRA there are exclusions as to who can
join a union. Those that are excluded
are public-sector employees, agricultural and domestic workers, independent
contractors, workers employed by a parent or spouse, employees of air and rail
carriers covered by the Railway Labor Act, and supervisors (Labor Relations,
Unions are created in order to organize
employees that are unhappy with their benefits, wages or conditions at their
workplace. They are created when 30% of
the employees sign an become an organized group. (Hunter, 1999)