Federal and state laws guarantee the right to form unions. Eligible employees have the right to express their views on unions, to talk with their co-workers about their interest in forming a union, to wear union buttons and to attend union meetings. (Supervisors and a few other types of employees customarily are excluded from coverage.)
Despite these laws, many employers strongly resist their employees' efforts to gain a voice at work through unionization. So, before you start talking union where you work, get in touch with a union that will help you organize.
To form a union on the job, you need the backup and hands-on help from the union you are seeking to join. If you don't already know which union is most able to help you, find out more about the unions affiliated with the AFL-CIO by visiting their websites. Many of these websites enable you to contact the right person there directly to help you form a union.
In communities across the country, the AFL-CIO has local and state councils where unions come together to work toward common goals. To find out about union activity in your community, visit the website of your state federation of labor or central labor council or check local directory assistance for this phone listing. Staff members at these offices can put you in touch with a local union that is right for you.
If forming a union with your coworkers isn’t a real possibility for you, you can still be a part of the union movement by joining Working America, the AFL-CIO’s community affiliate for people who don’t have a union at work.
Union organizers assist employees in forming unions on the job to give them the same opportunity for a say at work, good wages and decent working conditions. To get in touch with a union organizer, click here.
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