Union employees have advantages over their non-union counterparts under the service contract act (SCA). For example, if employees negotiate higher wages and benefits in a Union contract, the contractor can be reimbursed by the federal government for their "non-exempt" status employees unless they are classifying their employees as "exempt". The government only reimburses contractors the minimum amounts set in area wage determinations UNLESS there is a Union contract requiring higher pay. This means there is an incentive for your employer to give you a raise if you have a Union; there is much less incentive for them to give you a raise if you have no Union because the contractor, not the government, has to pay for it. If they employees are "exempt", then the contractor must burden the cost increases same as private or public sector employers.
Many employees working for government contractors constantly worry about what will happen when a new company gets the contract. Will wages and working conditions stay the same? Again, Union employees under the SCA have a huge advantage. Under the law, the new contractor must abide by the economic terms of the Union contract with the old contractor for at least a year. This means Union workers keep their higher wages while bargaining a new contract.Collective Bargaining is the process in which working people, through their Union, negotiate contracts with their employer to determine their terms of employment, including pay, benefits, hours, leave, job health and safety policies, ways to balance work, family and more.
Collective bargaining is a way to solve workplace problems by having a binding contract with terms that both parties agree to. The right to collectively bargain is essential so that working men and women have the strength to improve their living standards, provide for their families and build a strong middle class.
The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) can help MFLCs (SCA workers) improve their wages, benefits and working conditions thru Union bargaining. The ability to bargain replaces the area wage determination (AWD). This bargaining power that is afforded to you has to be honored by any would-be employer that wins the awarded contract. Thousands of workers across the country already have better benefits working under an IAM Union contract.
The IAM is here to assist employees who look to unionize as a means of improving their work conditions and way of life. With the IAM representing the MFLCs at the negotiation table, we look to get these professionals a contract representing all of the services the IAM has to offer. From improved wages, benefits and a say in the workplace, having a collective bargaining agreement in place can help in improving work production and moral. Do you want Job Security, Grievance & Arbitration Procedures, Protected Seniority, IAM Pension, Annual Wage Increase, More Paid Time Off and Better Health Care? The IAM is ready, willing and able to work alongside and support you and your co-workers efforts in organizing your workplace and it can only happen by having the IAM Union in your corner.
Step 1 - Receive contact from interested employees. Usually this happens via phone communication, email or a contact form filled out on this website. A meet and greet is then arranged to explain the information needed by the IAM to move forward in assessing support in the unit.
Step 2 - Start identifying people to assist inside the facility (on-site committee/team members). Their job is to keep you informed on where we are in the process, hand out any literature and help you get answers to your questions. If you are interested in becoming a leader inside or would just like to ask us questions, call IAM Representative Mark Ward at 916-597-6100.
Step 3 - Determine if there is genuine interest in forming a union by making contact with the employees. If you are serious in changing your future for the better, we ask you and your co-workers to fill out an “Authorization Card” also known as the “(A-Card)” by clicking on the link here:
This is how we gauge the support level of a group. Filling out an “A” Card is the first step in attaining justice on the job and is completely confidential - your employer will NOT see it.
Step 4 - If there is enough interest among your group, the IAM will file a “Petition” for representation with The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).
Step 5 - A “hearing” is then needed to define the “unit”. The Company and the IAM need to determine who among the group of employees are to be represented by the Union. There are certain individuals such as Supervisors that may not belong in the Union. This step determines who is appropriate based on classification and job duties. This process moves very quickly within a few days.
Step 6 - Once the “unit” is defined, we contact everyone in the unit to answer any questions they may have and again assess the level of support. If support has diminished, we will “pull the petition”. By pulling the petition, you and your co-workers will have to wait 6 months to re-file for election as we attempt to build up additional support. If the petition is not pulled and a “secret ballot election” was conducted and lost, the IAM would have to wait a full year to start over with the process of helping you form a union. Voting NO for IAM representation would be a VOTE against yourself towards earning better wages, benefits and working conditions.
Step 7 - If the support is strong from the group, we will move forward in the process. We then ask the employer to voluntarily “recognize” the IAM. If the employer refuses, which is often the case, we will move forward to a secret ballot election, which usually takes less than 30 days from start to finish to reach an election.
Step 8 - The IAM wins the right to represent the workers by a vote of 50% +1 as the bargaining agent for the employees.
Step 9 - The next step in negotiating a contract is surveying the employees to identify their issues and priorities. A negotiating committee is then formed, consisting of employees in your bargaining unit that you elect. Alongside with experienced IAM representatives, this negotiating committee then meets with the company to start contract negotiations. Once a “tentative agreement” is reached, you and your co-workers will vote on whether to accept or reject the contract offer. It’s important to remember that the stronger the solidarity with the workers, the better the contract!
Step 10 - If the majority of the unit accepts the contract, CONGRATULATIONS, you are now a Union under a collective bargaining agreement with the many protections and benefits you deserve. If the majority rejects the contract, both sides may return to the bargaining table to refine the terms and work out the differences. If both sides cannot agree on the new terms, you will vote on whether to strike the company or not. If 2/3 (66%) of the voting unit votes to strike, a strike may be called. In some cases the company returns to the bargaining table after the strike vote in order to avoid the strike because they know their employees are serious. Ninety-eight percent (98%) of all IAM contracts are negotiated without a strike. Yet in that rare instance, you, the members, not the IAM determines whether to strike or not.
Once your contract is in place, you will receive all of the monetary and non-monetary increases and protections with your employer, which will continue even if a new employer wins the next contract
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