Union voting is essential to making sure everyone at your company is on board with how your representative bargains for the group of employees. It’s also important to determine who will represent you.
This is especially true for plumbers’ unions that represent other workers in addition to plumbers, such as pipefitters. The election process for a plumbing union is similar to that of other unions, so knowing how their elections are run may be helpful for people in other industries, too.
Having a voice in union elections ensures that your company’s needs are addressed. Before a plumbing company can participate, it must first become a part of the local union.
This is achieved with a petition, which may make you wonder what union petitions are, anyway. These are legal documents submitted to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) that prove at least 30% of employees at your company want to join.
What does signing a union card mean? Put simply, it means you’re showing that you want to join or form a plumbers’ union, but it also triggers certain responsibilities on the part of the worker and the union.
Once you’re represented by a union, a union representative will do all of the collective bargaining for you. This is where elections come into play, and you and your fellow union members must vote on who that person should be.
A union election to select leadership has several steps, including:
First, candidates can either nominate themselves or be nominated by their coworkers for union leadership positions. The names of the candidates will appear on a ballot so members can easily see who is running or who their options are.
Candidates then must convince their peers why they should vote for them. A plumbers’ union may hold debates and host speeches or other presentations, or they may simply let people hand out marketing materials (such as flyers, buttons, and other promotional freebies).
By using ElectionBuddy’s secure online voting platform, union members can vote for their favorite candidate. This will probably be someone who is in alignment with the union member's needs, goals, and hopes for the future.
Also, members should make sure they are eligible to vote. There are usually certain conditions that need to be met first by the NLRB or the union.
The winner is the candidate with the most votes. That person will earn the leadership position, assuming the union runs democratically.
Elections help plumbers’ unions run democratically, efficiently, and in a way that aids them with collective bargaining. Union leaders are responsible for coming to fair agreements through the bargaining process. They are the ones who make it possible to work in a healthy and equitable workplace, so having a process to select them is vital.
If your plumbers’ union is still using paper ballots for elections, consider switching to ElectionBuddy. With the ability to text and email voters, you’ll see an increase in voter participation. It’s free for up to twenty voters, so give it a try for your next election!