Unions can request an organizing election
once 30 percent of a company’s workers sign authorizations cards in a
public “Card Check.” This constitutes a “showing of interest,” and the
National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) must order a private ballot
election. NLRB procedures ensure a fair election, free of fraud, where
employees may cast their vote confidentially without peer pressure or
coercion from unions or employers.
Employers and the NLRB must recognize a
union once organizers submit union cards signed by a majority of
workers in a company. This replaces private ballot elections with
publicly signed cards. Abolishing private ballot elections deprives
workers of a fundamental democratic right and exposes them to
harassment and coercion.
Negotiations on an initial union contract
following unionization are treated the same as any other contract: the
parties are required to negotiate in “good faith” until they settle on
terms. If they fail to do so, the union may call a strike, and the
employer may implement its last offer or even lock out workers.
Collective bargaining negotiations must
begin within 10 days of union certification. After 90 days of
bargaining, either party may request mediation by the Federal
Mediation and Conciliation Service. Thirty days later, if the
parties are still unable to settle on a contract, the negotiations
are referred to a Federal arbitration board. The board’s decision is
binding upon both parties for a period of 2 years.
Both companies and unions are prohibited
from engaging in unfair labor practices during an organizing drive.
When an employer
illegally discharges a worker for supporting a union, the employer is
required to provide the worker full back pay.
Increases penalties against employers,
but not unions, for unfair labor practices committed during an
organizing drive. The NLRB is required to prioritize investigation
of those cases.
Employers must pay triple back pay
Employers can be assessed civil
penalties up to $20,000 per violation for unfair labor practices.