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Questions and Answers

Q: How do we know if workers at our shop might be ready to form a union?
A: The answer is quite simple. If enough people from a particular company contact us through the web, on the phone, or just stop by, we measure the level of interest. Are they truly wanting a union? Do they want to go through this entire process of becoming a union facility? Are the conditions right? Is the employer not treating their employees with dignity and respect? Are they willing to help us unionize them? These are some of the types of questions we ask.

Q: How do we identify employees at a particular company?
A: The workers ARE the union, which is why we rely on the people who work there initially to help identify their peers. This is one of the hardest things about organizing a group of people — just finding out who works there. Once we have a substantial majority identified, we at least have a starting point.

Q: What happens after we have identified employees at a particular company?
A: There are numerous approaches, but more than likely, we like to meet the workers one-on-one and answer any questions they may have about joining our union or the process of becoming a union. This is usually done at their homes, but other arrangements can be made to meet elsewhere.

Q: Why does it seem like everyone is “hush hush” on the idea of forming a union at work? It seems no one wants to talk about unions. Why is that?
A: Some employers try to coerce and intimidate their workers into not forming a union by threatening their jobs. Even though these are illegal acts under the law, some employers take it to the extreme. If you are uncomfortable talking about forming a union out of fear of retaliation by your employer, we are always available to answer any questions you have. Remember, when it comes down to a vote, it is a secret ballot and your employer will not know how you voted – a National Labor Relations Board agent tallies the votes. 50% + 1 of the ballots cast is all that is required to recognize your group as a union.

Q: Why do we pay dues?
A: A union is a group of people who band together to speak with one strong voice to improve wages, benefits, and working conditions of the people they represent. A union is all of us. Yes, it takes money to get the kind of representation needed to combat the actions of employers, but it is a very small price to pay to have a voice in your future. Would we like to have more members? Sure, because there is strength in numbers.

Q: Can I be forced to join the union?
A: We can’t and don’t force anybody to join. It is up to the people at a particular company whether or not they want a union. A union is only as strong as the members it represents. We don’t want a weak union, we want the people to want to be a union.

Q: What happens if the majority of workers don’t want a union?
A: We move on to the next group of people in need or who show an interest in joining a union. Organizing takes a lot of resources to be successful. Organizing monies are the members’ dues, and we are fiscally responsible.

Q: How often should we try to organize a group?
A: This all depends on the circumstances and visible support of employees.

Q: Why do employers disseminate false and misleading statements about joining a union?
A: Because they know that if their employees stick together, the win percentage is very high. If their employees negotiate for better wages; hours; and working conditions, it might decrease their profits, as they have to share more with their employees.

Q: Do unions price companies out of the market?
A: Unions don’t price companies out of the market, corporate greed does. When you have CEOs who make 50, 100, and in some cases 300 times what employees make, it is the “fat” at the top that would drive a company’s cost structure out of balance, not the wages of the “producers

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