Your rights to organize are set forth in section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act:
"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..."

You have the legal right to organize, join, and support a union of your own choosing. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • filling out an authorization for representation card

  • asking others to fill out representation cards

  • attending union meetings

  • wearing union buttons

  • passing out union literature

  • talking about the union to other employees

How is a union formed?
Your workplace can be organized only when a majority of the workers there decide they want to belong to a union.
The union will provide you with authorization for representation cards to sign. Your signed authorization card lets the union know how many workers at your workplace want union representation and assistance in negotiating a contract.
In some cases, when a clear majority of workers have signed authorization cards, the employer agrees to recognize the union and negotiate a contract.
In most cases, after a majority of workers have signed authorization cards, the union files a petition for an election with the National Labor Relations Board. The NLRB sets a date for an election and conducts an impartial secret ballot vote to determine if a majority of the workers desire union representation. After winning the election, the union will begin negotiating with the employer for a contract.

Some of the benefits a Union can provide include:

  • Better wages -- Reports have shown that union workers generally make 35% more in wages and benefits than non-union workers.

  • Better benefits -- Many Local 431 contracts provide affordable health insurance where the employer pays all, or most, of the expense.

  • A Pension Plan -- Many Local 431 contracts provide for a 401k plan or pension plan to make your retirement easier.

  • Job Security -- Local 431 contracts contain language to prevent employers from unjustly and arbitrarily terminating or suspending you without having just cause for their action.

Developing Organizing Leads
If you know of a group of workers who are interested in bringing a union to their workplace, please contact us at 1-800-292-7293 or e-mail:,,, or
Membership Application Form can be printed and mailed to the Davenport Office.