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What is Organizing?
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“Organizing” refers to a group or groups of workers interested in joining a union. Whether workers would like to improve their working conditions, increase their pay and/or benefits or create a better working environment, it can be done through organizing. Local 53 would like to encourage you to read more about us to see if joining our union is right for you.

Do you have questions about organizing? Are you interested in organizing your workplace? If so, please contact:

Maximus Perdomo
•  Phone: 504-468-9598
•  Cell: 504-453-6761
•  E-mail: max@awl53.com

To organize your workplace, please download the following document, complete and email directly to Maximus Perdomo.

Organizing Application

 
Introduction
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A union is only as strong as its members. That is why organizing is at the center of everything the Internal Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers Local # 53 does. Organizing is the top priority for Local # 53. It is the responsibility of the organizing department to ensure that all mechanic and insulator workers gain the protection of union affiliation. Our daily aim is to increase our membership and restore our union density throughout the trade and industry as a whole.

 
Why Unions?
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The freedom to form unions is a human right.

SECTION 7: Employees shall have the right to self-organize, 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.

What this means:

•   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 other to sign union cards, attending union meetings, wearing union buttons, passing out union literature and talking about unions to other employees.
•   Employees have the legal right to join together and work as a team in order to help each other.
•   Employees have the legal right to deal with their employer as a group rather than individually.
•   Employees have 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.
•   Employees do not have the right to carry on union activity during working hours or to allow their union activity to interfere with their jobs. (For this purpose, break time and lunch time are not considered as working hours.)

SECTION 8: It shall be an unfair labor practice for an employer...


1.  To interfere with, restrain or coerce employees in the exercise of the rights guaranteed in SECTION 7.
2.  To act by discrimination in regard to hire or tenure of employment to encourage or discourage membership in any labor organization.

What this means:

•   Employees are supposed to have a FREE CHOICE in deciding whether or not they want to user their right to organize. Anything that an employer does to interfere with this free choice is against the law.
•   Employers who get “nose trouble” during an organizing campaign are breaking the law. An employer is not allowed to question employees in regards to employee feelings, signatures, union beliefs, etc.
•   Employer is not allowed to make any promises of raises, promotions or other benefits in order to influence employees in the exercise of their rights.
•   Employers cannot take away, or threaten to take away, any benefits which are already in place due to union activity.
•   It is illegal for an employer to penalize an employee in any manner because of his or her union activity or beliefs. This includes such things as: cutting out overtime, transferring to a less desirable job, suspension or discharge. If an employer takes part in one of these actions and it can be proven that it was done in response to union activity, he must reinstate the employee to his former position without loss of seniority and pay him for all lost wages, plus interest.

 

 
How Employers Prevent Unions
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It is a common occurrence that workers who seek to exercise the right to form a union nearly always run into hardships in the form of threats and coercion from employers. Some examples include:

•  Captive audience meetings
•  One-on-one meetings with supervisors
•  Threats to close or move the workplace
•  Hiring professional consultants to coordinate anti-union campaigns
•  Firing workers for union activity

The consequences of employer’s actions have been devastating for all of the American society. When collective bargaining is suppressed; wages lag, inequality and poverty grow, race and gender pay gaps widen and society’s safety net is strained.

 
What Have Unions Done for Us
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Some of the benefits that have been experienced due to union formation include:

•  8 hour work day
•  5 day work week
•  Health insurance
•  Pensions
•  Higher wages
•  Job security
•  Overtime pay
•  Job safety
•  Family and medical leave
•  Fair treatment of minorities

Union members earn 28 percent more than nonunion workers. Stronger unions have the ability to raise living standards and improve the quality of life for everyone. In the 10 states in which unions are most prevalent, there is less poverty, higher household incomes, more educational spending and better public policy, as compared to the 10 states where unions are weakest.

 
Unions Encourage Democracy
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Unions encourage voting and other forms of political participation by members and other social groups with common interests.

 
35 Things Your Employer Cannot Do
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1. Attend any union meeting, park across the street from the hall or engage in any undercover activity which would indicate that the employees are being kept under surveillance to determine who is and who is not participating in the union program.
2. Tell employees that the company will fire or punish them if they engage in union activity.
3. Layoff, discharge, or discipline any employee for union activity.
4. Grant employees wage increases, special concessions or benefits in order to keep the union out.
5. Bar employee-union representatives from soliciting employees’ memberships on or off the company property during non-working hours.
6. Ask employees about union matters, meetings, etc.
7. Ask employees that they about the union or a union representative once the employee refuses to discuss it.
8. Ask employees how they intend to vote.
9. Threaten employees with reprisal for participating in union activities.
10. Promise benefits to employees if they reject the union.
11. Give financial support or other assistance to a union.
12. Announce that the company will not deal with the union.
13. Threaten to close, in fact close, or move plant in order to avoid dealing with a union.
14. Ask employees whether or not they belong to a union or have signed up for union representation.
15. Ask and employee, during the hiring interview, about his or her affiliation with a labor organization of how he or she feels about unions.
16. Make anti-union statements or act in a way that might show preference for a non-union man or woman.
17. Make distinctions between union and non-union employees when signing overtime work or desirable work.
18. Purposely team up non-union men and keep them apart from those supporting the union.
19. Transfer workers on the basis of union affiliations or activities.
20. Choose employees to be laid off in order to weaken the union’s strength or discourage membership in the union.
21. Discriminate against people when disciplining employees.
22. By nature of work assignments, create conditions intended to get rid of an employee because of his union activity.
23. Fail to grant a scheduled benefit or wage increase because of union activity.
24. Deviate from company policy for the purpose of getting rid of a union supporter.
25. Take action that adversely affects an employee’s job or pay rate because of union activity.
26. Threaten workers or coerce them in an attempt to influence their vote.
27. Threaten a union member through a third party.
28. Promise employees a reward of future benefit if they decide “no union.”
29. Tell employees overtime work and premium pay will be discontinued if the plant is unionized.
30. Say unionization will force the company to lay off employees.
31. Say unionization will do away with vacations or other benefits and privileges presently in effect.
32. Promise employees promotions, raises or other benefits if they get out of the union or refrain from joining the union.
33. Start a petition or circular against the union or encourage or take part in its circulation if started by employees.
34. Urge employees to try to induce other to oppose the union or keep out of it.
35. Visit the homes of employees to urge them to reject the union.
 
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