When you decide you want to get together with your fellow employees to improve your working conditions, contact LIFE Union to help you get started. A LIFE Union representative will explain how the process works. If a union campaign appears viable at your place of work, we can provide expert assistance and the resources necessary to help you achieve your goal.
There are two basic paths to joining a union: Certification Election or a Card Check
Certification Election: In a certification election, LIFE Union helps employees circulate union authorization cards. By signing a card, an employee indicates interest in having union representation. If enough people sign cards, the union will petition the NLRB – National Labor Relations Board for a union representation election. The union authorization cards that you sign are confidential and they are never shared with the employer. The only people who know that you signed a card are the union and the NLRB supervising the election.
Likewise, your vote in a union election is strictly confidential. Union representation elections are conducted by a secret ballot vote at the jobsite or by mail ballot. If LIFE Union wins a majority (50% plus one vote of those who cast ballots) the union becomes the certified representative for the defined bargaining unit. The company is then required by federal law to enter into good faith negotiations with LIFE Union for a labor agreement (contract) that specifies wages, benefits and working conditions.
Card Check: An employer can agree to union certification without an election. In a card check certification, a mutually agreed to third party (such as a Federal Mediator or Arbitrator) verifies the authorization cards as authentic. If a majority of the employees have signed cards saying they wish to be represented by LIFE Union, as verified by the third party, then the union is recognized as the legal bargaining representative for the employees and the employer is required to sit down and bargain in good faith. The names of the individuals who signed authorization cards remain confidential and they are not shared with the employer by the third party.
Negotiating a Tentative Agreement
After LIFE Union is recognized through a card check or a certification election, the workers and the union form a negotiating committee and begin bargaining with the employer for a contract. The union negotiating committee consists of several of the employees with knowledge of their departments or work groups, joined by LIFE Union staff negotiators. The employer and the union negotiate until they reach a tentative agreement.
Ratification of the Agreement
The tentative agreement is submitted to the employees (also known as the “bargaining unit”) for their approval or rejection. This process is known as the ratification of a tentative agreement. Our goal for a 1st contract is to not only improve your current wages and working conditions but lock in through a legal binding contract that none of the agreed upon terms and conditions can be taken away from you.
If a majority of those voting approves the tentative agreement, it goes into effect. At that point employees fill out paperwork to become members of LIFE Union. On the 1st day of the following month, you would begin paying dues (usually through payroll deduction). There will be no initiation fees for anyone in the initial enrollment.
The process of bargaining between the employer and LIFE Union is governed by law. The outcome of that bargaining is not. There is no third party that can enter the negotiation and impose an agreement for one side or the other. Although there is no legal guarantee that an employer will agree to a contract, LIFE Union has a virtually 100% success record of negotiating first agreements for new bargaining units.
People come to LIFE Union because they want respect on the job and a decent standard of living. It’s that simple.
LIFE Union has the experience and resources to get you the best contract possible.
The bottom line is this: You have a legally protected right to union representation. Just step forward and ask for help.
Call today or fill out the information in the "Contact Us" section to inquire about making your workplace better for you and your coworkers.