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What the National Labor Relations Act Says:

Section 7: "Employees shall have the right to self-organization, to form, join, or assist labor organizations to bargain collectively through representation 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 practice for an employer. . . to interfere with, restrain, or coerce employees in the exercise of the rights guaranteed in Section 7 . . ."

Examples of Employer Violations:

Section 8 of the National Labor Relations Act codifies your rights. Managers, supervisors and foremen are all considered employer representatives and are obligated to obey the law. Be forewarned, employer representatives will probably try to “rev up the rumor mill” rather than make incriminating statements directly to employees. If any employer representative does any of the following, it is a violation of law and you should get in touch with an IAM representative as soon as possible.

1. It is illegal for your employer to: Attend IAM meetings.

2. It is illegal for your employer to: Park across the street from the meeting place to see which employees enter the meeting, or engage in any undercover activity which would indicate that the employees are being kept under surveillance to determine who is and who is not participating in the IAM program.

3. It is illegal for your employer to: Tell employees that the employer will fire or punish them if they engage in IAM activity.

4. It is illegal for your employer to: Lay-off or discharge any employee for IAM activity.

5. It is illegal for your employer to: Grant employees wage increases or special concessions in order to persuade employees against being represented by the IAM.

6. It is illegal for your employer to: Bar employees from soliciting for the IAM (asking for support and/or membership) during non-working hours.

7. It is illegal for your employer to: Ask employees what they think about the IAM or an IAM representative.

8. It is illegal for your employer to: Ask employees how they intend to vote.

9. It is illegal for your employer to: Threaten employees with economic reprisal for participating in IAM activities. For example, threaten to move the facility or close the business, curtail operations or reduce employee benefits.

10. It is illegal for your employer to: Promise benefits to employees if they reject the IAM.

11. It is illegal for your employer to: Give financial support or other assistance to a union or to employees, regardless of whether or not they are supporting or opposing the IAM.

12. It is illegal for your employer to: Announce that the employer will not negotiate with the IAM.

13. It is illegal for your employer to: Tell employees that they will be fired or punished if they engage in union activities.

14. It is illegal for your employer to: Ask employees whether they belong to the IAM or have signed an IAM Petition.

15. It is illegal for your employer to: Ask an employee, during the interview when they are being hired, about their affiliation with the IAM.

16. It is illegal for your employer to: Make anti-union statements or actions that might show preference for a non-union person.

17. It is illegal for your employer to: Make distinctions between union and non-union employees when assigning overtime or desirable work.

18. It is illegal for your employer to: Transfer employees based on their IAM affiliation or activity.

19. It is illegal for your employer to: Purposely team up non-union employees and keep them apart from those the employer may think support the IAM.

20. It is illegal for your employer to: Select employees for lay off to discourage support for the IAM.

21. It is illegal for your employer to: Discriminate against IAM supporters when disciplining employees.

22. It is illegal for your employer to: Use work assignments to discriminate against IAM supporters.

23. It is illegal for your employer to: Discipline IAM supporters for a particular action and permit non-union employees to go unpunished for the same action.

24. It is illegal for your employer to: Deviate from policy to get rid of an IAM supporter or member.

25. It is illegal for your employer to: Take actions that adversely affect an employee’s job or any pay rate because of IAM activity.

26. It is illegal for your employer to: Engage in arguments to provoke a physical confrontation with an employee about the union.

27. It is illegal for your employer to: Threaten an IAM member or supporter through a third party.

28. It is illegal for your employer to: Threaten the employees or coerce them in an attempt to influence their vote.

29. It is illegal for your employer to: Promise employees a reward or a future benefit if they vote “No.”

30. It is illegal for your employer to: Tell employees overtime work (and premium pay) will be discontinued if they choose to be represented by the IAM.

31. It is illegal for your employer to: Say unionization will cause employees to be laid off or fired.

32. It is illegal for your employer to: Say that unionization will take away vacations, bonuses, pensions, insurance, profit sharing, or any other benefits and privileges presently enjoyed. (This is the “start from zero” threat.)

33. It is illegal for your employer to: Start a petition or circular against the IAM or take part in its circulation if started by employees.

34. It is illegal for your employer to: Urge employees to try to induce others to oppose the IAM.

35. It is illegal for your employer to: Visit the home of employees to urge them to reject the IAM.

36. It is illegal for your employer to: Make campaign speeches to assembled groups of employees on company time within the 24-hour period before the secret ballot election.

Protection From Employer Action

Under Section 8 of the National Labor Relations Act, your employer cannot legally punish or discriminate against any worker because of union activity.

For example, your employer cannot legally do any the following:

-- Threaten to or actually fire, lay off, discipline, harass, transfer, or reassign
employees because they support the union.

-- Favor employees who don't support the union over those who do in
promotions, job assignments, wages, hours, enforcement of rules, or any other
working condition.

-- Shut down the work site or take away any benefits or privileges employees
already enjoy in order to discourage union activity.

-- Promise employees a pay increase, promotion, benefit, or special favor if they
oppose the union.

Enforcing Your Rights

Some employers try to prevent the workers from joining a union.

The best way to encourage your employers to recognize your union and negotiate a fair contract is to build a strong organization where you work.

If your employer violates the law, the union can help you file "unfair labor practice" charges with the proper government agency.

The Labor Board has the power to order an employer to stop interfering with employee rights, to provide back pay, and to reverse any action taken against workers for union activity.

You can help protect your legal rights by:

Keeping written notes of any incidents in which company officials or supervisors threaten, harass, or punish workers because of union activity.
Immediately report any such incidents to your organizing committee and the union staff.

Your notes don't have to be worded a certain way, but you should include what was said or done, who was involved, where and when it happened, and the names of any witnesses.

"Good Faith" Bargaining

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

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