Steps to Start a Union
A union is when workers band together to improve their working conditions. Talk to your coworkers about wages, benefits and working conditions to see if they want to improve them.
We are here to serve and assist you and your coworkers. From learning how to start a union to better understanding all the steps involved in negotiating a contract, we want to see you succeed.
At this point you and your coworkers will build an organizing committee. They should be a group of leaders at your workplace who feel strongest about the need to organize. Your committee will then work together to get more coworkers involved with the effort to win a union contract.
Often companies try to discourage employees from starting a union. Don’t worry, it is your right, protected by federal labor law, to start a union. You have the right to talk to your coworkers about starting a union and about workplace conditions, including pay.
Once a majority of your coworkers agree on the need to have a union, you will sign support cards. These cards declare that you want to start a union and have SMART as your partner at work to help negotiate better wages, benefits and working conditions.
When a majority of your coworkers have signed union support cards, they are submitted to the National Labor Relations Board to request a union election. If a majority of your coworkers vote YES at your election, your employer now has to recognize your union and bargain with you, your coworkers, and SMART.
Congratulations! It’s time to get the benefits you deserve! A SMART negotiating team will begin working with you and your coworkers to negotiate your first union contract. You and your coworkers will have the opportunity to vote on the contract before it is finalized to ensure it has the benefits and value you deserve.