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Know Your Rights

Your Union Rights and Protections

Learn how to use labor law to protect your right to unionize.

In the United States, there is a clear legal code that defines what powers we have to unionize and make work better.

All of these things are laid out as our legal rights in the National Labor Relations Act. This law was signed in 1935 in part to lay out all of the things that American workers have the right to do to organize and improve their workplaces. 

The rights that the NLRA focuses on are protections to what we call concerted activity — actions where you and your coworkers work together to advocate for improving your working conditions. This means that it is illegal for anyone, including your employer, to stop you from joining your coworkers in these activities.

Here are some actions that would be classified as concerted activity:

• Sharing and signing a petition to improve working conditions.
• Joining your coworkers in addressing management about safety concerns.
• Talking to management on behalf of your coworkers about working conditions.
• Talking to your coworkers about starting a union at your workplace.
• Signing a union support card.
• Saying anything about any of these things!

It is your right to join your coworkers and do any and all of these things, and more, to fight for better conditions and benefits. However: during your union campaign, your company may try any manner of tactics to stop you and your coworkers from unionizing, even if it means illegally firing you for concerted activity. 

But if you follow all the employee policies of your workplace — even the ones that aren’t usually enforced — your employer will have a much harder time trying to mess with you during your campaign. Read more here about how your employer may try to retaliate against you and how you can best prepare and stop them from busting your union!

Organize and unionize your workplace

Are you and your coworkers ready to negotiate together for bigger paychecks, stronger benefits and better lives? If you are, the steps to joining the UFCW are simple.

How to Start a Union
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