For Dignity, Respect And a Voice at Work

Organize A Union in Your Workplace

Getting Started

If you don’t have a union, you already know the boss can do whatever he (or she) wants. You really don’t know from one day to the next what could happen to your pay, your job, or even your workplace. Without a union, you leave all of your rights outside when you walk through the door to work. But you – and the people you work with – can change this. It’s Your Legal Right.

UE gives you the power to make your employer pay a fair wage, provide a decent place to work and a voice in the decisions that affect you. It’s the organization that represents and defends workers from unfair treatment by the boss — and it really works. Since 1990, more than 12,000 workers have organized with UE.

Just as important, it’s the organization that mobilizes all of us to make America a better place for working people. Whether you work in a factory or an office or on a college campus, there’s only one way to have rights at work and that’s to organize a union!

Real Democracy — and a Real Voice!

In UE we build power right at the workplace through rank-and-file organization. That means the union is run by workers — not by union bureaucrats. If you are interested finding out about building a strong, vibrant union in your workplace, contact UE. We’ll be happy to talk with you (no pressure, no hype).

Your Rights

The National Labor Relations Act gives you the right to organize a union in your workplace. Here’s what you are allowed to do — and what your employer is not allowed to do.

You Have the Right to:

  • PARTICIPATE in meetings to discuss joining a union;
  • DISTRIBUTE, read and discuss union literature (in non-work areas) during breaks and lunch-time;
  • WEAR union buttons, stickers, T-shirts, and hats to show support for the union;
  • SIGN a UE membership card and demand union recognition;
  • CIRCULATE and sign petitions or join together in other activities to protest unfair treatment or demand improvements in wages, hours and working conditions;
  • ORGANIZE other employees to support the union, sign union cards, or to file grievances.

These rights are protected by Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act (and similar state laws), which gives you the right to join or support a union.

It is Illegal for Your Boss to:

  • FIRE or threaten to fire, layoff, discipline, harass, transfer, or reassign an employee because they support the union;
  • FAVOR employees who don’t support the union over those that do in promotions, hours, enforcement of rules or any other conditions;
  • CLOSE or threaten to close your place of employment or take away benefits or privileges in order to discourage union activity;
  • PROMISE employees a pay increase, promotion, benefits or special favor if they oppose the union;
  • ASK your opinion of the union improvements in wages, hours and working conditions;

Under Section 8 of the National Labor Relations Act (and similar state laws) it is illegal for your boss to commit any of the acts listed above.

Here’s the Law:

SECTION 1: The policy of the United States is to be carried out “by encouraging the practice and procedure of collective bargaining and by protecting the exercise by workers of full freedom of association, self-organization, and designation of representatives of their own choosing, for the purpose of negotiating the terms and conditions of their employment …”

SECTION 7: “Employees shall have the right to self-organization, to form, join, or bargain collectively through representation of their own choosing, and to engage in other concerted activities for the purpose of collective bargaining …”

SECTION 8(a): “It shall be an unfair labor practice for an employer … to interfere with, restrain, or coerce employees in the exercise of the rights guaranteed in Section 7 …”