This is the law: Our rights to bargain collectively
Section 7 (U.S. Code Title 29, Chapter 7, § 157)
"SECTION 7. Employees shall have the right to self-organization, to form, join, or assist labor organizations, to bargain collectively through representatives of their own choosing, and to engage in other concerted activities for the purpose of collective bargaining or other mutual aid or protection..."
Also read Section 8(a) (U.S. Code Title 29, Chapter 7, § 158a)
What this means to employees
- It means that employees have the legal right to help organize, to join and to support a union of their own choosing. This includes such activities as signing a union card, getting others to sign cards, attending union meetings, wearing union buttons, passing out union literature and talking union to other employees.
- It says that employees have the legal right to deal with their employer as a group, rather than individually.
- It gives employees the legal right to take such group action as they feel necessary in order to gain their desired goals so long as these actions violate no other laws.
When and Where Your Rights to "Talk Union" Are Protected
If you follow these simple guidelines, you will be well within your legal rights:
- You may discuss union activity with your co-workers during any non-work time. In general, if you would be allowed to discuss the football game or what was on TV last night, you can also talk about the union. "Non-work time" includes: 1. lunch, 2. breaks, 3. after hours.
- You may discuss union activity with your co-workers in both work and non-work areas, as long as it is during the non-work time.
- You may solicit signatures from your co-workers on union cards in both work and non-work areas, as long as it is during the non-work time.
Where and When You May Distribute Union Literature
- You may distribute Union Literature during non-work time (see above)
- You may distribute Union Literature only in non-work areas. "Non-work areas" are areas not related to production, such as: 1. break rooms, 2. locker rooms, 3. coffee machine area, 4. company parking lot.
While it is important to remember that we have the right to organize without interference from the company, that right is often trampled on by companies during election campaigns. That's why it is important for you to work with an IBEW representative to make sure that your rights are protected.