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  • Forming a Union

    Your rights in the workplace: A Union Story!

    First and foremost, you have the right to form a Union. This Right is Federal Law. The Law is called the National Labor Relations Act, the NLRA. With that right comes what is commonly called concerted, protected activity. That means your employer can not punish you or retaliate for attempting to form a Union, talking about the Union or any other activity considered protected under the NLRA. This Right is not dependent on where you work, only that you have at least two workers that are not considered to be Management employees.

    Here's video that explains the Right to form a Union in greater detail:

    The Right to Organize and Form Unions: Module 5 of 5 (youtube.com)

    The first step in forming a Union is making the decision to do so. As simple as that may seem, or as obvious, the decision requires that you come together as a workforce. In a large work force, that can mean as few as 2 workers, or hundreds, for our explanation purposes we will use a workforce of 100 Technicians. Technicians could be Radiology Technicians or Internet Technicians, the term is generic and anyone who is not Management, from the Techs we mentioned, to professional administrative employees can form a Union.

    So you’ve decided to form a Union. The next step is gathering your coworkers together, educating your coworkers, and deciding amongst yourselves if you have enough support to form a Union. You will need one more vote than 50% of the voters to form your Union. That means with our Technicians, they will need 51 votes for the Union to receive recognition that you’ve formed a Union.You need at least 30% of your workforce to sign a Representation Card with the Union Local you have chosen to represent you to file a Petition to hold an election.

    Some factors to consider on the way. Very few Corporations voluntarily recognize or remain silent while you form a Union. They will hold meetings with you and your coworkers and will do their very best to convince you that they, the Corporation, have your best interests in mind when making decisions about their operation. We know that is simply not true. The following are some additional myths, and the truth behind the myths about forming a Union.

    • The Union is a 3rd party: This is the “ we have an open door “ policy, or “ but we’re a family here at Super All-Star Cable “

    The Truth: The Union you form is YOU. You and your co-workers will be your Union. The Union organization you’ve chosen will facilitate the process, provide education, resources, and will do the legal work required to support your Union, but YOU will be the Union. You will have co-workers as Stewards, designated Reps to provide representation and protect your rights, you will attend meetings with the rest of the workers who belong to the organization you’ve chosen, and will help make all the decisions of the Local Union through a democratic process laid out in the organization bylaws. You will elect officers and representatives, you will vote on expenditures and leaders, and in short, the Union will belong to you as much as it does any member of your organization.

    • The Union just wants your Dues money.

    The Truth: In Idaho, nobody can be forced to belong to a Union. That is what a Right to Work Law actually means. While most folks understand Right to Work to mean you can be fired without reason, that is really called At Will Employment and is separate and distinct from a Right to Work Law. The following is Idaho’s Right to Work Law: Idaho Code 44, Chapter 20. Read it for yourself, you will see it has a very distinct meaning unrelated to At Will Employment.

    • The Union will make promises it can’t keep

    The Truth: Here at IBEW Local Union 291, we make this simple promise and no others. If you form a Union in your workplace with our organization, we promise you that you will have a contract that defines your wages, benefits, and working conditions and you will have a voice and a vote in that process. No other promise. We will not promise you giant raises, specific benefits, or specific workplace rules. Those things are determined through the bargaining process. If your employer says we will promise things aside from these things, that is a falsehood they are sharing and not a promise made by IBEW Local Union 291.

    • You will be forced to go on strike!

    The Truth: Only YOU and your co-workers can vote to go on Strike. We repeat, only YOU and your co-workers can vote to utilize a Strike as bargaining tool. The Local Union will NOT call for a strike. YOU will do so.

    • The Company won’t survive Unionization

    The Truth: Look around at your workplace. Is it thriving? Are you working everyday? Are all your customers suddenly going to go away?

    • The Union will decide what is in your contract

    The Truth: You will determine the Agenda at bargaining, plain and simple. The Local Union and it’s representatives don’t work in your workplace and nobody can make a better decision about what is needed other than the employees in the workplace. Your Agenda will be reflected in your bargaining and the decisions made and nobody else’s.

    • We will get in trouble at work for talking about a Union

    The Truth: Discussing the Union in your workplace in federally protected speech. We refer you again to the National labor Relations Act, and you can find that at the following link: Home | National Labor Relations Board (nlrb.gov)

    IBEW Local Union 291 wants to stress one thing after you have read this. We can not form a Union for you, nor would we want to. The Workers at Super-All Star Cable have to want to form a Union. The IBEW will work together with you to accomplish that goal, but we can not want you to form a Union more than you want to form a Union. Our Organization is about doing things together with workers, not necessarily doing things for them. And while we provide representation to more than 1400 families in the Treasure Valley, that representation is after the formation of the Union. We want to work with you to accomplish your goal and will dedicate any personal, resources, or efforts in our power to helping your Union get across the finish line.

    Page Last Updated: Jun 12, 2024 (16:38:41)
  • IBEW Local 291

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