Ten Things Every Company Should Know About Union Organizing

Amid a resurgence of the labor movement, unionization rates have been on the rise in the United States. According to the Economic Policy Institute, private-sector unionization in the US rose by more than a quarter of a million workers in 2023.

Given the recent rise of unionization, it is important for employers to be informed about the unionization process.  Here are 10 things to know about Union Organizing:

  1. Most workers in the private sector are eligible to form and join unions. Those who are not eligible include supervisors and managers, confidential employees, and independent contractors.  
  1. The National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) is the federal law that grants employees the right to form or join unions.  
  1. The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) is an independent federal agency that enforces the NLRA and regulates union management.
  1. A minimum of 30% of the affected bargaining unit employees must show interest in a union in order to schedule an election with the NLRB. This is most commonly achieved by the signing of Authorization Cards, which indicate an employee’s desire to join a union.
  1. The appropriate bargaining unit for an election will be determined by the NLRB. For example, disputes sometimes arise whether the bargaining unit should include different types of workers, multiple locations, etc. The test the NLRB uses is whether there is a “community of interest” between the workers. 
  1. The NLRB will reach out to the employer and require them to submit a list of their employees, excluding managers and supervisors. 
  1. In the period prior to the election, employers cannot threaten or coerce employees to vote against unionization.  
  1. On the day of the election, the NLRB will set up in the polling area which is usually on the employer’s property and will supervise the election. 
  1. During the election, employees vote by casting a paper ballot which is dropped into a ballot box.
  2. After the voting period, the ballots are counted right on the spot. The union must win the majority of the votes cast to be declared the winner and be entitled to represent the workers.


If your employees are attempting to unionize your company and you need legal help, contact Pechman Law Group at 212-583-9500. Lou Pechman has worked for the National Labor Relations Board and has over 40 years of experience regarding union-management issues.  


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