There are several factors to be considered and various actions, which should be taken, regarding organizing a union at your workplace.
The following steps will illustrate what the ITPEU considers to be the most effective aspects of organizing and leading up to an election in order to accomplish your objective.
Your decision and desire to organize would obviously be your first step. You would need some assurance that at least half of your fellow employees at the workplace would be willing to join a union. It would be necessary to obtain opinions, from your fellow employees to insure you of their positions. From that point, you should try to form a committee of employees in each department and each shift, depending on the size and make-up of your workplace, who would be dedicated to the objective. However, all of the above actions should be done quietly. You would not want to alarm management of the unionization attempt.
The next step would be to contact a union representative from the union you choose to represent you. Union representatives will make themselves available at a local motel or hotel in your city providing professional assistance. Union meetings will be conducted with employees and committee members gathering information and answering questions. Union membership applications cards or petitions would be signed to indicate that the person signing wishes the union to represent him or her in collective bargaining regarding wages, fringe benefits, working conditions, etc. The cards or petitions are strictly confidential, the employer never sees them.
Once 30% of the employees to be represented in the bargaining unit have signed cards or petitions, a petition for an election can be filed and submitted to the National Labor Relations Board. The election will generally occur within 45 days after the petition has been filed. However, in order to win the election the union would need at least 51% of the majority of the employees to be represented at the workplace voting "YES". Therefore, you should have at least 60% or more of the employees to be represented in the bargaining unit to have previously signed cards or petitions, in order for the union to win the election.
The election is usually held at the workplace and will be conducted by a National Labor Relations Board Agent assigned to this particular case. Company and Union Officials are not allowed in the voting area at any time during the designated voting times. however, all parties may station an equal number of authorized, nonsupervisory employees of the employer observers at the polling places to assist in the election, to challenge the eligibility of voters and to verify the tally. The voting will be done by secret ballot and no one will know which way you have voted.
After the polls have closed, the National Labor Relations Board Agent will invite Company and Union Officials back into the voting area. At this time, he/she will count the votes and determine the winner. A certification of the election will be signed by the parties and if the union wins, WAY TO GO! The company will be required by law to meet with the union for the purpose of negotiating a Collective Bargaining Agreement.
If you are interested in obtaining further information regarding the above matter and to learn more about the ITPEU and the benefits of becoming a union member, please contact Secretary Treasurer Dennis Conley in the Savannah Headquarters Office.