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IBEW Local 715
Wisconsin Broadcast Engineers
April 05, 2020
How to Organize a Union

Interested in organizing a union in your workplace? A union is simply a majority of employees who join together to better their work lives.

Under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) you have the legal right to form a union in your workplace. The NLRA says:
  •  Section 7: "Employees shall have the right to self-organization, to form, join or assist labor organizations, to bargain collectively through represenation 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 practive for an interfee with, restrain, or coerce employees in the exercise of the rights guaranteed in section 7...."

Getting Started

To get a union started, the first thing you need to do is talk to your co-workers. Do they share the same concerns you have? Or, do they have other issues? Is there a common theme to these concerns such as lack of respect and dignity; lack of a voice in the workplace; unfair treatment; and/or wages and benefits lower than other people working in the same industry?

Workers Create Their Own Organization

Our experience tells us that it's best when workers organize themselves if they are to create a viable organization in their workplace. IBEW organizers and staff can help. But, it's the workers who must join together and build their organization. After talking with your co-workers to find out their issues, you can call IBEW 715 to talk with a union organizer.  He or she will set up a meeting with you and some of your co-workers. Together, you will create a plan for organizing a union in your workplace.

A Typical Organizing Campaign

The campagin will consist of talking with co-workers about the union, asking them to sign a petition of support. When there is a strong majority of support (65% of employees have signed the petition of support), the union will file for an election with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). Usually, the NLRB will then meet with the union and employer to establish the criteria for employees who will be eligible to vote in the union election. The NLRB sets a date for a secret ballot election.

Under Section 7 of the NLRA, you have the legal right to:
  1. Attend meetings to discusss joining a union
  2. Read, distribute and discuss union literature (as long as you do this in non-work areas during non-work times, such as during breaks or lunch hours)
  3. Wear union buttons, t-shirts,  stickers, hats, or other items on the job
  4. Sign a card asking your employer to recognize and bargain with the union
  5. Sign petitions or file greivances related to wages, hours, working conditions, and other job issues
  6. Ask other employees to support the union, to sign union cards or petitions, or to file grievances

Bargaining a Contract

After the union's election victory is officially certified by the NLRB, your employer is legally required to negotiate in "good faith" with the union on a written contract covering wages, hours, and other working conditions.

Contact Us

If you're interested in organizing a union in your workplace fill out the Organize Today form on the homepage to be contacted by an IBEW organizer. Please be sure that the e-mail address you would like to be contacted at is NOT A WORK E-MAIL ADDRESS. Thank you and we look forward to hearing from you.

Content on this page is directly from CWA Local 6012.

Page Last Updated: May 14, 2007 (07:30:32)
IBEW Local Union No. 715
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