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  • YOUR RIGHTS UNDER THE LAW
    Updated On: Jun 13, 2019

     What the National Labor Relations Act Says

     Examples of Employer Violations

     Protection From Employer Action

     Enforcing Your Rights

     "Good Faith" Bargaining

    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 Your Rights Under the Law

    The law protects and guarantees your rights to do any of the following without fear of reprisal from the employer:

    • IT'S YOUR RIGHT to form a union and bargain for increased wages, improved benefits, better working conditions, security and protection.

    • IT'S YOUR RIGHT to serve on the IAM Union Unionizing Team.

    • IT'S YOUR RIGHT to ask your coworkers to assist or serve on the IAM Union unionizing Team.

     IT'S YOUR RIGHT to attend and take part in IAM Union meetings.

     IT'S YOUR RIGHT to invite your coworkers to attend and take part in IAM Union meetings.

     IT'S YOUR RIGHT to distribute IAM Union material on the employer’s property during non-working time.

    • IT'S YOUR RIGHT to ask your coworkers to distribute IAM Union material on employer’s property during non-work time and in non-work areas.

     IT'S YOUR RIGHT to distribute IAM Union material away from the employer’s property.

     IT'S YOUR RIGHT to join the IAM Union.

     IT'S YOUR RIGHT to invite your coworkers to join the IAM Union on the employer’s property during non-work times and in non-work areas.

     IT'S YOUR RIGHT to wear IAM Union buttons, T-shirts, caps and jackets on the employer’s property during working and non-working time. (Provided such items or objects do not create a safety hazard.)

     IT'S YOUR RIGHT to ask your coworkers to wear IAM Union apparel.

     IT'S YOUR RIGHT to phone your coworkers to discuss and encourage support for the IAM Union.

     IT'S YOUR RIGHT to visit the homes of your coworkers to discuss and encourage support for the IAM Union.

    • IT'S YOUR RIGHT to meet and discuss the IAM Union with your coworkers on the employer’s property during non-work time and in non-work areas. (Provided the meeting does not create a disturbance in the workplace.)

    • IT'S YOUR RIGHT to VOTE YES for the IAM Union during the secret ballot election conducted by the Federal Government.

     IT'S YOUR RIGHT to accept wage increases and other improved benefits and still VOTE YES for the IAM Union during the secret ballot elections conducted by the Federal Government.

     IT'S YOUR RIGHT to write, sign and distribute letters, flyers or petitions supporting the IAM Union.

     IT'S YOUR RIGHT to ask questions and take notes during captive audience meetings conducted by the employer.

    • IT'S YOUR RIGHT to make supportive statements for the IAM Union during captive audience meetings conducted by the company.

    The situations listed above are only examples. You have many more ways to assert your rights at work. If you have any questions, please contact an IAM Union representative who will provide specific advice regarding your activities.

    IMPORTANT! If your employer prohibits you or your coworkers from exercising your rights, it may constitute an Unfair Labor Practice. If this should happen, be sure to write down the basic facts (who, what, where, when and witnesses) and discuss the incident with your IAM Union representative as soon as possible.

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    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 Union representative as soon as possible.

    1. It is illegal for your employer to: Attend IAM Union 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 Union program. It is IMPORTANT to document each time your employer/manager does any of the following:

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

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

    6. It is illegal for your employer to: Bar employees from soliciting for the IAM Union (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 Union or an IAM Union 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 Union 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 Union.

    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 Union.

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

    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 Union 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 Union.

    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 Union 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 Union.

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

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

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

    23. It is illegal for your employer to: Discipline IAM Union 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 Union 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 Union 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 Union 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 Union.

    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 Union 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 Union.

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

    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    "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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