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What Are Union Election Petitions?

October 27, 2023

Labor unions play a crucial role in many workplaces and the benefits they bring should not be discounted. When your coworkers are looking to join an existing union or to form their own, there are many things to consider, such as an online union voting system, how representation works, and what the process of becoming represented looks like. 

One of the first steps that is taken is filing an election petition. This is done to ensure that enough people in the company want to join a union in the first place. After all, representation won’t work if most people aren’t on board with the idea.

Election Petitions Explained

In short, election petitions are used to determine whether there are enough employees who want to be represented by a union. These are legal documents that are filed with an independent federal agency called the National Labor Relations Board that protects the rights of those who work in the private sector. 

The petition must show that a certain percentage of a company’s employees approve of representation by a union. This is important because the union will become the employees’ sole representative when negotiating contracts with their employer.

Why Unions Matter

If you find yourself working at an organization that is considering forming a union, you may be wondering what the effects of unionization are. Unions can assist with collective bargaining, which is when representatives negotiate contracts on behalf of employees at union companies. This can lead to better pay, hours, benefits, and working conditions. 

Additionally, it’s good to have one voice representing employees at your company, and that’s exactly what your union representative’s job is. They are experienced negotiators and know how to be the voice for their members.

How Do You Form a Union?

Suppose the employees of a plumbing company want to join a labor union. How would they go about doing that? The plumbers’ union election process often begins with reaching out to a plumber’s union to get help with filing the petition. They will need to gather enough signatures to prove that at least 30% of employees want to join an existing local or form their own.

What Happens Next?

After a union petition is successfully filed, an election is held to ensure enough people support union representation. This election is hosted by the NLRB and uses a secret ballot format to protect the integrity of the vote. If a majority of the employees want to join or form a union, they’re in.

Alternatively, your employer may voluntarily agree to the union being formed and for the company to become a union organization. If your coworkers can persuade your boss to do this, you’ll need to notify the NLRB.

Parting Thoughts

Union election petitions are the first step to making changes at your company. Once they’re filed, you can begin working with a labor union to seek representation and negotiate better working conditions and pay rates. 

There will be times when you and your coworkers will need to vote on issues that need to be included in the collective bargaining process and must name leaders to the union board. You can collect paper ballots in the office, but there’s a better solution for running elections. 

ElectionBuddy is a secure online voting platform that will save you time and energy. It’s even free for up to twenty voters, so try it today for your next workplace election!

Join 11,984+ organizations like yours that use ElectionBuddy to build more easy online elections

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