What is a Union authorization? - An authorization is a card or petition signed by an employee indicating his or her desire to form a Union at their place of employment. The authorization states that the employee “authorizes a local Union of the IAM to represent them in collective bargaining”. This means that the employee has indicated his or her desire to be represented by the Union.
Why is an authorization necessary? - The National Labor Relations Act, the federal labor law that defines employees’ rights to form a Union, requires that a majority of employees sign authorizations to prove they want a Union before the IAM can ask for recognition from the Employer.
How does an authorization work? -
1. Employees sign IAM authorization petitions or cards.
2. When a majority of authorizations have been secured, the IAM will ask the employer to recognize your Union.
3. If the employer should refuse such recognition, the card may be then taken to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) where the IAM will file a petition for a secret-ballot election.
4. The NLRB then sets a date when you vote - by secret ballot - to be represented by the IAM.
5. If the workers vote YES, the NLRB then issues a certification – which legally compels the employer to bargain with the IAM - and soon thereafter, contract negotiations begin with the employer for the changes the employees through their Union want to make.
What else will the authorization be used for? - Nothing else. The only reason for the card is to determine sufficient interest from the employees in seeking collective bargaining with the employer. The IAM’s policy is that employees should vote in an election sanctioned by a neutral party, whether they want IAM representation or not. Once employees determine that they want the opportunity to vote in an election, the cards are forwarded to the third party (NLRB) to support the employee’s petition.
Will my employer see my authorization? - As long as the IAM has possession of the cards, the employer will not see the authorizations. Only the Union and the NLRB will see the cards. If the employer agrees to a card-check, a neutral third party will compare the authorizations to a listing of employees provided by the employer.
If I don’t believe in joining the IAM, should I sign an authorization? - The IAM doesn’t want anyone to sign an authorization unless they truly want to form a Union. The decision to sign an authorization is the employee’s choice and the employee’s choice alone. No one should or will be forced to sign an authorization.
Can signing an authorization force a Union on the employer? - No. Under Federal law, once the employees decide to seek recognition of their Union, the Union must “demand” (legally request) recognition by the employer before the NLRB will intervene on the employees’ behalf. (Why should the government expend taxpayer’s dollars to conduct an election if the employer will voluntarily recognize the employees’ wishes to form a Union?) The employer can, and usually does, refuse such voluntary recognition. The NLRB petition clearly asks if the Union has asked the employer to voluntarily recognize the Union. The NLRB rules and procedures are designed to uphold employee free choice in forming a Union. If a majority of employees are opposed to forming a Union, no Union will be formed, according to the NLRB.
The company says I cannot get my card back once I give it to the Union. Is this true? No. The IAM’s policy is that any employee who wants to get their authorization revoked prior to an NLRB petition being filed or a card-check procedure can get their authorization back without question. Once the authorizations are submitted to the NLRB with the Petition, or a neutral third party in card-check procedures, the NLRB or neutral party has possession of the cards. The IAM then has no control over the cards once they are filed with NLRB.
The company says I am giving up my rights by signing a card? No, your actually improving them with the IAM. Right now, you currently have little to no rights whatsoever - the employer sets your terms and working conditions. If you want rights, just like the hundreds of thousands of service contract workers enjoy now working under and IAM contract, then you should sign the card - without it, you are powerless to negotiate at improving your wages, benefits and working conditions.
My company says dues can cost up to 6% of my salary, is that true? No. Local Dues are approximately less than 1.2% of your total yearly earnings. Example: Yearly wages $56,000.00 = $650 dues divided over 12 months. If are not on assignment and work less than 15 days of the month, your Dues are $2.00.
If we vote to go Union, my employer says that am I forced to pay dues, is this true?
Under Federal law employees may choose not to become Union members and pay dues, or opt to pay only that share of dues used directly for representation. Known as objectors, they are no longer Union members, but are still protected by the Union contract. It’s unlawful to force employees to join a Union.
Colorado is ‘labor peace act” state that requires a 2/3rd’s majority vote of acceptance by the workers BEFORE employees can choose to require that all workers covered under their contract pay some type of dues. That means each employee at a workplace must decide whether or not to join the Union and pay dues, even though all workers are protected by the contract negotiated by the Union and the Union is still required to represent all workers. The employer and Union must first agree to its terms, then 2/3rd’s of workers must approve it before they would be pay any dues whatsoever. THAT’S THE LAW!!!
What would my dues dollars be used for and how? Union members pool their dues money to obtain a level of workplace representation, service, and protection very few individuals could possibly afford alone. IAM dues are established through Local or District Lodge bylaws and add up to just a fraction of your monthly take-home pay. Dues secure all the benefits, rights, services and privileges that are negotiated through collectively bargained contracts like: union-scale wages, health insurance, pensions and all the rest. Dues pay for all legal represenation matters as well as cost associated with servicing its membership. Members of their local Union establish and vote on the amounts of their monthly dues.
Copyright © Int'l Assoc. of Machinists and Aerospace Workers - (IAM)
Military Family Life Counselors Union