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Frequently Asked Questions:

How does the union work?

What will be in our contract?

Who runs the union?

Won't it cost the company a lot money if the union comes in?

Can I be fired for participating in the campaign?

How much are Union Dues?

What does signing the card mean?

What can the union do about favoritism?

How do we go about getting a union here?

Q How does the union work?

A A union is a democratic organization of a majority of the employees in a facility. The basic idea of a union is that by joining together with fellow employees to form a union, workers have a greater ability to improve conditions at the worksite. In other words, "in unity there is strength."

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Q What will be in our contract?
A It is for the union employees to decide what to negotiate for. Your co-workers are already talking about many issues that are important to them at union meetings. After you win union recognition, you will select a negotiating committee from among your co-workers. Then, with the Union Chief Negotiator, the committee will sit down with management to negotiate a contract.
The law says that both sides must bargain "in good faith" to reach an agreement on wages, benefits, and working conditions. The contract will only take effect after it is approved (ratified) by a majority of the workers.
It is not possible to know exactly what will be in the first contract. Our goal will be to win improvements with each contract.

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Q Who runs the union?
A The union is a democratic organization run by the members. Members elect the local officers. You vote on many issues of importance to you. You vote on your contract. Union members elect delegates to national conventions, where delegates elect national officers and vote on major issues affecting the union such as constitutional amendments. The union is the people themselves.

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Q Won't it cost the company a lot money if the union comes in?
A In the short run, it's true that unions cost employers more in terms of wages and benefits. But in the long run, that doesn't necessarily hurt the employer. Many unions are good for the employers as well as for the workers.
The reason is simple. With a union there is higher morale, and there is a mechanism for workers to have a voice in how the workplace operates.
Satisfied employees are more productive, and less likely to quit, so there is less turnover. Also, management benefits when it gets input from the workers on how the operation could be run better.

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Q Can I be fired for participating in the campaign?
A First of all, the law prohibits any employer from discriminating against people in any way because of their union activity. If an employer does harass or discriminate against a union supporter, the union files a charge with the Labor Board, and prosecutes the employer to the fullest extent.
The best safeguard against the employer harassing anyone is for everybody to stick together and win their union. Without a union, management has a free hand to treat people as they please. But with a union, everyone has the protection of a union contract.

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Q How much are Union Dues?
A The dues will depend upon what the local needs to operate efficiently and effectively. However, the dues will be set by you, as a local union, with the exception of the International portion of the dues, which is set and voted by all Local Unions at the International Convention every five (5) years. However, no dues are paid until the majority of workers vote to accept a contract they helped to negotiate. All initiation fees will be waived for members in newly organized units.

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Q What does signing the card mean?
A It means you want the union. The card is a commitment of support.  And, it gives us the legal support for an open and free union election.

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Q What can the union do about favoritism?
A Fairness is the most important part of the union contract. The same rules apply to everyone. If any worker feels that he or she is not being treated fairly, then he or she, of course, still has the opportunity to complain to the supervisor, just like before. But under a union contract, the supervisor or manager no longer has the final say. They are no longer judge and jury. If the worker is not satisfied with the response of the supervisor, the worker can file a grievance.

The first step of a grievance procedure is for the steward to accompany the worker to try to work it out with the supervisor. If the worker is not satisfied, the steward and the employee, with help from the Union Business Manager, can bring the grievance to higher management. If the complaint is not resolved, then the issue can be placed before an outside neutral judge called an arbitrator.

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Q How do we go about getting a union here? 
A We've already taken the important first steps in forming a union.  We've formed a voluntary organizing committee of which many of you are members.  This committee was formed to investigate and to inform of the ways that a union may help us.  We've held meetings to inform other employees as to what their rights are now and the rights they gain by forming a union.

Now it's all up to us to vote Union and to ask others to vote for their future by VOTING UNION .

FAQ supplied from the IBEW.org site