A WORKERS HAS A RIGHT

You have a right to:

  • Join a union.
  • Talk to your co-workers about joining a union.
  • Pass out literature about joining a union (in non-work areas during non-work times).
  • Sign up your coworkers on petitions in non-work areas and during non-work times.
  • Join with your coworkers for the purpose of forming a union.
  • Join with your coworkers for the purpose of improving working conditions in your place of employment.

The above rights are spelled out in Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act.

Your employer does not have a right to:

  • Interfere with, restrain or coerce you in such a way as to prevent you from exercising the rights listed above.
  • Form a union that is financed or controlled by an employer, instead of by you and your coworkers.
  • Discriminate against you or your coworkers in hiring and firing simply because you have chosen to join (or not to join) a union.
  • Fire you because you have exercised any of your rights under the National Labor Relations Act, including your right to file complaints and testify against your employer if you believe he or she has violated your rights.
  • Refuse to bargain collectively with you and your coworkers, if you choose to form a union.

The above limits on employer activity are spelled out in Section 8(a) of the National Labor Relations Act.

National Labor Relations Act

Section 1

“It is hereby declared to be the policy of the United States to eliminate the causes of certain substantial obstructions to the free flow of commerce and to mitigate and eliminate these obstructions when they have occurred 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 or other mutual aid or protection.”

Section 7

“Employees shall have the right to self organization, to form, join or assist labor organizations, to bargain collectively through representatives of their own choosing, and to engage in other concerted activities for the purpose of collective bargaining or other mutual aid or protection, and shall have the right to refrain from any or all of such activities except to the extent that such right may be affected by an agreement requiring membership in a labor organization as a condition of employment as authorized in section 8(a)3.”

Section 8

“It shall be an unfair labor practice for an employer:

(1) to interfere with, restrain, or coerce employees in the exercise of rights guaranteed in Section 7.

(2) to dominate or interfere with the formation . . . of any labor organization . . .

(3) by discrimination in regard to hire or tenure of employment or any term or condition of employment, to encourage or discourage membership in any labor organization . . .

(4) to discharge or otherwise discriminate against an employee because he filed charges or given testimony under this Act.

(5) to refuse to bargain collectively with the representative of his employees . . .

If you are interested in organizing your workplace with the UAW, contact our Organizing Department or call 1-800 2GET-UAW (1-800-243-8829). You’ll be connected to (or get a call back from) a UAW organizer who can answer questions and tell you what it takes to organize a union at your workplace.

NO UNION = NO RIGHTS

What is the difference between:

IF YOUR WORKPLACE IS NON-UNION…

  • You are an “employee at will.” Your employer can discipline or fire you at any time for any reason; you have no recourse.
  • “Open door” policy means the employer will listen to you… and then do whatever he or she wants.
  • Employer determines wages, benefits and other terms and conditions of work. If you’re not satisfied, your only option is to get another job.
  • Wages, benefits and other terms and conditions can be changed by the employer at any time.
  • Hiring and promotion is up to the discretion of the employer.

IF YOU JOIN A UNION AND HAVE A CONTRACT…

  • Discipline, up to and including discharge, is subject to a grievance procedure and binding arbitration, depending on the terms of your contract.
  • Contract negotiations require both sides — labor and management — to listen, and reach reasonable compromises acceptable to both sides.
  • Wages, benefits and working conditions are negotiated. If you are not satisfied, you can work for changes during contract negotiations.
  • Neither labor nor management can make unilateral changes to a signed contract. If modifications are necessary during the life of a contract, both sides must agree.
  • Hiring and promotion is covered by contract. Seniority and other factors can be written into the agreement.

Surprised?

Unless workers have a union contract, they are at the mercy of company policies. Most employment handbooks clearly state that policies are “guidelines only and … not a contract of employment” or that the terms of the handbook are subject to change without notice.

Even under a company’s “open-door” policy, there is nothing to really make anyone believe that the policy is meaningful. To the contrary, there is often a powerful conflict of interest in these “open door” policies because workers are complaining about management’s decisions to a board or body that has been handpicked by management.

It’s not surprising then that workers without a union are often subject to arbitrariness and unfairness on the job.

Workers without a contract are considered “employees at will.” That means they can be fired at any time and without reason, the only exceptions are termination for discrimination, whistle-blowing or union organizing.

In fact, when looking at laws affecting workers, it’s good to think of this: laws like the minimum wage, worker’s comp, overtime, OSHA and ERISA (governing pensions and profit sharing) provide the bare minimum that applies to everyone. For non-union workers, however, the bare minimum becomes a ceiling – no one promises rights any higher. For union workers, on the other hand, the bare minimum is just the floor – they always bargain for rights and benefits above the bare minimum set by the law.

No surprise then that union wages are better, union shops are safer and union jobs are more secure!

If you are interested in organizing your workplace with the UAW, contact our Organizing Department or call 1-800 2GET-UAW (1-800-243-8829). You’ll be connected to (or get a call back from) a UAW organizer who can answer questions and tell you what it takes to organize a union at your workplace.

Are you ready to take action?

Take a stand and help the labor force of Fuyao Glass choose UAW as our Union, and we will seek official recognition through a fair process.