The National Labor Relations (NLRB) requires that a minimum of 30 percent of the employees sign authorization cards/petitions before it will conduct an election.
Election Petition Filed
Local No. 1473 presents the cards/petitions to the NLRB with a request that it conduct an election. The employer never sees the authorization cards/petitions, and the NLRB won't even tell how many employees filled them out.
Election Date Set
The Union, an employer representative, and the NLRB meet to set an election date.
You decide by a secret ballot if you want UFCW Local No. 1473 to begin negotiations with your employer. A "Yes" vote gives you the chance to proceed.
Preparation for Negotiations
During the seven to ten days it takes for the NLRB to certify the election results, you and your fellow employees will meet to decide what specific benefits you would like to have in a first contract. Also, you will start thinking about electing a negotiating committee.
Please return your contract questionnaire.
The employees' negotiating committee, UFCW representatives, and the employer begin a series of meetings to work out differences and develop a contract offer.
Your will meet to discuss and vote (by secret ballot) on the employer's offer. If rejected, we go back into negotiations. If accepted, wage rates and all new benefits begin.
Join the Union
Finally, only after a contract is signed and you are already receiving better wages and benefits, we will ask you to join the Union. Remember, there is strength in numbers!
For: Questions, Comments or Assistance?
Contact: UFCW Local 1473 at 1-800-472-1660
Employees have specific rights when confronted by employers who want to question them for alleged wrongdoing. These rights were developed by the U.S. Supreme Court in the Weingarten case in 1975.
As with any rules, there are certain things that it covers, and there are certain things that it does not cover.
Your right is not automatic. YOU MUST ASK FOR IT. Your employer is not under a duty to advise you of your rights.
You have to request the union representation from the person who is doing the questioning, not from your immediate supervisor or your union representative. The questioner must be told that you do not want to proceed without union representation.
You do not have the right to a union representative if the interview is only for the purpose of informing of discipline already decided upon by the employer. However, in that case, you only need to listen, you do not have to answer any further questions by your employer. Further, you can ask for union representation under those circumstances, but the employer is not required to give you union representation.
The rule does not apply to the normal everyday conversations between a supervisor and an employee, which pertains to performance of job duties and normal work performance.
The employer's rights -
Once you request union representation, your employer has three options:
1. He can grant your request and bring in a union representative.
2. He can discontinue the interview and proceed with the employer's own investigation without your participation.
3. The employer can offer you the choice of proceeding without union representation.
While an employee may waive the right to union representation, it is highly recommended that an employee not do so. Most of us feel that we are not guilty and that we are adequately able to represent ourselves. However, in the emotionally charged situation where you are being questioned by your employer, it is very possible that you will say things that the employer has no knowledge of which will incriminate you or will cause the employer to undertake a new investigation regarding other conduct.
Local 1473 has prepared an interrogation rights statement for you to present to your employer if you are too nervous or upset to recall you rights.
DO YOU KNOW
It is unlawful for your employer, supervisor or foreman to interfere with, restrain or coerce employees seeking to organize or join a union. Any of the acts listed below constitutes a violation of the National Labor Relations Act, as Amended.
1. Attend any union meeting, park across the street from the hall or engage in any undercover activity which would indicate that the employees are being kept under surveillance to determine who is and who is not participating in the union program.
2. Tell employees that the company will fire or punish them if they engage in union activity.
3. Lay off, discharge, discipline any employee for union activity.
4. Grant employees wage increases, special concessions or benefits in order to keep the union out.
5. Bar employee-union representatives from soliciting employees' memberships on or off the company property during non-working hours.
6. Ask employees about union matters, meetings, etc. (Some employees may, of their own accord, walk up and tell of such matters. It is not an unfair labor practice to listen, but to ask questions to obtain additional information is illegal.).
7. Ask employees what they think about the union or a union representative.
8. Ask employees how they intend to vote.
9. Threaten employees with reprisal for participating in union activities. For example, threaten to move the plant or close the business, curtail operations or reduce employees' benefits.
10. Promise benefits to employees if they reject the union.
11. Give financial support or other assistance to a union.
12. Announce that the company will not deal with the union.
13. Threaten to close, in fact close, or move plant in order to avoid dealing with a union.
14. Ask employees whether or not they belong to a union, or have signed up for union representation.
15. Ask an employee, during the hiring interview, about his/her affiliation with a labor organization or how he/she feels about unions.
16. Make anti-union statements or act in a way that might show preference for a non-union man.
17. Make distinctions between union and non-union employees when assigning overtime work or desirable work.
18. Purposely team up non-union men and keep them apart from those supporting the union.
19. Transfer workers on the basis of union affiliations or activities.
20. Choose employees to be laid off in order to weaken the union's strength or discourage membership in the union.
21. Discriminate against union people when disciplining employees.
22. By nature of work assignments, create conditions intended to get rid of an employee because of his/her union activity.
23. Fail to grant a scheduled benefit or wage increase because of union activity.
24. Deviate from company policy for the purpose of getting rid of a union supporter.
25. Take action that adversely affects an employee's job or pay rate because of union activity.
26. Threaten workers or coerce them in an attempt to influence their vote.
27. Threaten a union member through a third party.
28. Promise employees a reward or a future benefit if they decide "no union"
29. Tell employees overtime work (and premium pay) will be discontinued if the plant is unionized.
30. Say unionization will force the company to lay off employees.
31. Say unionization will do away with vacations or other benefits and privileges presently in effect.
32. Promise employees promotions, raises, or other benefits if they get out of the union or refrain from joining the union.
33. Start a petition or circular against the union or encourage or take part in its circulation if started by employees.
34. Urge employees to try to induce others to oppose the union or keep out of it.
35. Visit the homes of employees to urge them to reject the union.
For: Questions, Comments or Assistance? Contact: UFCW Local 1473 at 1-800-472-1660
You may encounter different types of problems at work which require assistance or advice. The following is meant to be a guide in resolving these situations.
What should you do if you are called into the office? If you believe that you are being called into a supervior's office for the purpose of discipline or to defend your conduct you are entitled, as a union member, to be represented.
SHOP FLOOR CONVERSATIONS
Not every discussion with management is an investigatory interview. For example, a supervisor may speak to an employee about the proper way to do a job. Even if the supervisor asks the employee questions, this is not an investigatory interview because the possibility of discipline is remote.
A routine conversation changes character if a supervisor becomes dissatisfied with an employee and takes a hostile attitude. If this happens the meeting could well result in discipline and you should ask for your Union Representative.
There are those times when a supervisor is gathering some information, but if you believe that the investigatory interview could lead to discipline, other adverse consequences, or to defend your conduct, you have a right to make a request for representation and should do so. You may feel intimidated by a supervisor or someone else trained in interrogation techniques or they may try to coerce you into confessing to a wrong-doing.
For all of these reasons you should request union representation. You must make a clear request for union representation (you cannot be punished for making this request). After you have made the request the employer must:
Grant the request and delay questioning until a Union Representative arrives, or
Deny the request and end the interview immediately, or
Offer you the choice to continue the meeting without a Union Representative. It would be best to wait until you have representation so that you have the benefit of someone trained to handle such a situation.
If the employer denies the request for union representation and continues to ask questions, he has commiteed an unfair labor practice; you have a right to refuse to answer and cannot be disciplined for such refusal. You must, however, make the request to be represented by the Union.
When a supervisor calls an employee to the office to announce a warning or issue discipline, this would not constitute an investigatory interview as the supervisor is informing the employee of a previous decision of management. However, if the supervisor asks questions that are related to the incident which resulted in the discipline, it then becomes an investigatory interview to which you are entitled to union representation upon your request.
The Union Representative or Steward can provide assistance and counsel you during the interview as well as speak up for you during the interview
BEWARE OF SIGNING ANY COMPANY DOCUMENTS
If your employer asks you to sign any document relative to a disciplinary matter or that could adversely affect your job, be careful.
Most of the time the best course of action is not to sign any document without first discussing it with your Union Representative.
WHO OR WHAT IS THE UNION?
You are the Union: A Union is composed of employees like yourself, who band together in order to gain a voice; concerning their wages, hours, benefits and working conditions.
WHY SHOULD WE ORGANIZE A UNION?
Unorganized employees organize and join Unions because Union members enjoy higher wages, better benefits and working conditions.
WILL I BE FIRED OR DISCRIMINATED AGAINST BECAUSE I WANT TO ORGANIZE?
No: Federal law protects your right to "form, join or assist" Labor Organizations and specifically states that your supervisors cannot coerce or discriminate against you, in any way, because of your desire to organize a Union.
HOW DO WE GO ABOUT ORGANIZING A UNION?
Step 1: RECOGNITION
Recognition - is when your Employer accepts the fact that an employee organization (the Union) represents a majority of his or her employees and that this Union has the legal right to negotiate; concerning wages, hours, benefits and conditions of work.
A. When a majority of the employees have filled out Authorization Cards, then the Employer can Voluntarily Recognize the Union. But - most Employers refuse to Voluntarily Recognize the Union, therefore . . .
B. Employees usually gain recognition through a Secret Ballot Election that is conducted by the Federal Government. After a majority of employees vote for Union representation, your Employer is required by law to Recognize you and begin contract negotiations with his or her employees.
Step 2: CONTRACT PROPOSALS AND NEGOTIATIONS
At this point you, the employees, with the help of your Union representatives, draw up a contract proposal. This proposal sets down in writing the wages, benefits and working conditions you want and which you feel are justified. At this time you also elect a Negotiation Committee, which is made up of your fellow employees. This proposed contract is offered to the Employer and negotiations commence.
Step 3: RATIFICATION OF THE CONTRACT
After a contract has been negotiated and agreed to by the Employer and your Negotiating Committee, this tentative contract is brought back to all the employees for acceptance. If a majority of employees vote to accept this contract, the contract is put into effect and only then can the employees officially join the Union.
There is No Initiation Fee for any employee who is employed at the time the contract takes effect.
You are the Union: And only you can organize a Union where you work. Don't delay - fill out your Authorization Card today and take a few extras for your fellow employees to sign.
WITH A UNION. . .
You are guaranteed a voice in negotiating with your employer.
For example you can negotiate:
To eliminate under-staffing
Incentives to retain qualified staff
Stable and fair scheduling practices
Call in and over-time compensation
Dignity, rights and respect on the job
Safe working conditions
THE UNION CAN BENEFIT YOUR CUSTOMERS OR RESIDENTS TOO!
With sufficient staffing your customers will receive better products or services and your residents will receive better care.
Working with the Union you can assure the most qualified staff will stay at the facility through job security.
UNITED FOOD & COMMERCIAL WORKERS LOCAL 1473
YOU ARE NOT ALONE . . . TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THE UFCW,
PLEASE COMPLETE THIS AUTHORIZATION CARD AND MAIL TO THE UNION
AT: 2001 N. Mayfair Road, Milwaukee, WI 53226 .