How to Start a Union
When Workers Stand Together, We have Power.
“The company’s corporate leadership has proven itself untrustworthy in governing our working conditions, our compensation, and our benefits. A union is our best way forward.”
Jacob Koontz, Walgreens Pharmacist
“It’s been a long process but it’s all worth it in the end. It feels good to know we have a team like UFCW 5 behind us to protect our rights as workers and help us advance in our careers within the cannabis industry. Every position is important in cannabis and being a part of the Union ensures that budtenders are the backbone of the cannabis industry. We are not disposable, and our jobs deserve protection; it feels great to have that recognized.”
Kat Gonzalez, budtender at Stiiizy Mission
“We organized with Local 5 because we know companies like Imperfect Foods that profess to do good will pursue bottom-line profits over the health and safety of their workers unless they are held accountable”
Chris Jasinski, Imperfect Foods
“Thanks to Local 5 we kept our jobs, and as a result of our new contract, our wages, benefits, and working conditions have significantly improved. This is an excellent first contract and we look forward to further gains in future negotiations”
Chris Chavez, Safeway.com
It’s our job to help with that.
No matter your questions, we’re here to answer them and serve you.
No experience with unions? No problem. You can start a labor or trade union at almost any company as long as you and your coworkers decide your job would be better with a union to back you up.
Are You Ready To Start a Union? Let’s go!
A union is a proven way to make your job better. When you have a union, you and your coworkers get to have a say in your wages, schedule, vacation policy, retirement plan, store safety, and anything else that impacts your life at work.
Step 1: Talk to Your Coworkers
A union is when workers join together to improve their jobs. Talk to your coworkers about wages, benefits and working conditions to see if they want to make them better, too.
Step 2: Talk to a Union Organizer
No matter your questions, we’re here to answer them and serve you. From learning how you can start a union to better understanding all the steps involved in negotiating a contract, we want you to have all the information you need.
Step 3: Start a Committee
With the help of a Union Organizer, you and your coworkers will build an organizing committee. This will be the key group of leaders at your workplace who feel strongest about the need to organize. Your committee will then work together to get more coworkers involved with the effort to win a union contract that makes everyone’s job better.
Step 4: Know Your Rights
Unions like the UFCW will bring you more control over your wages, benefits and workplace conditions. Companies would rather keep that control for themselves, so they often try to discourage employees from starting a union. Don’t worry, it is your right, protected by federal labor law, to start a union. You have the right to talk to your coworkers about starting a union and about workplace conditions, including pay.
Step 5: Sign Union Support Cards
Once a majority of your coworkers agree on the need to have a union, you will sign support cards. These cards declare that you want to start a union and have the UFCW as your partner at work to help negotiate better wages, benefits and working conditions.
Step 6: Vote!
Once a majority of your coworkers have signed union support cards, they are submitted to the National Labor Relations Board to request a union election. This part can take several weeks as the Board decides on an election date and determines who at your workplace can vote. If a majority of your coworkers vote YES at your election, your employer now has to recognize your union and bargain with you and your coworkers.
Step 7: Negotiate Your Contract
Congratulations! It’s time to get the benefits you deserve! UFCW and our negotiating team will begin working with you and your coworkers to negotiate your first union contract. You and your coworkers will have the opportunity to vote on the contract before it is finalized to ensure it has the benefits and value you deserve. After you’ve won your first contract, you can officially obtain UFCW membership!
STEPS TO FORMING YOUR UNION
A better life comes from the power of workers standing together. It is what UFCW Local 5 Union family fights for everyday.
A Union is a group of workers standing together to have a voice in the workplace. At UFCW 5, we believe in fairness and community, and we are driven by the principle that EVERYONE has the right to a good quality of life. You work hard every single day to help provide for you and your family. Your voice is power and that power comes from joining UFCW.
UFCW Local 5 represents 30,000 workers. We are supermarket stockers, retail clerks, food processors, financial professionals, and cannabis workers.
COMPANY LIES AND SCARE TACTICS
Many employers resort to the same anti-worker, anti-union playbook of lies and scare tactics in an effort to stop workers from having a voice on the job. You must be prepared for these company tricks to win your right to form your union.
Tactic #1 Strike Talk
Tactic #2 Dues
Tactic #3 No Contract
Tactic #4 Bargaining from scratch
Tactic #5 Promises and Second Chances
Tactic #6 Anti-union committee
THE FEDERAL LAW PROTECTS YOU.