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Organizing a Union at the Workplace

798 words 3 page(s)

Question 1

The process of forming a union can be summarized using a five-step approach. The first step is the need development phase. Majority of unions result from an infringement of the worker’s rights or a violation of an employment agreement. According to the Society for Human Resource Management (2017), the occurrence of unions usually is as a result of the organization failing in executing goals pertaining employees welfare. The second step would be to gather data on the issues facing the employees to decide the scope of the union. The third step would be to create the union, and ensure that the immediate employees run it. The union should be structured by task and duty allocation, levels of authority and other structural factors to maintain balance and a steady flow of operations.

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The next step would be to officiate the union by, either, use of sign cards or through a petition advocating for a union (National Labor Regulations Board, n.d). If a third of the total employees sign the cards, the NLRB shall then certify that the union is the selected collective bargaining body for the employees. The final, yet important step in the union formation process would be to carry out negotiations with the employer from a positive approach to come up with a mutually benefiting contract that discriminates against neither of the two parties. Legal guidance is quite crucial at these stage as legal terms and procedures may be misleading.

Question 2
According to Sandronsky (2009), union organization in the private sector faces reproach five times worse from employers that those in the public sector. As a result, union organizing process in the former sector takes longer than in the public ones. Moreover, union organization operations in the private sector lack privacy since employers control the communication systems on periods such as campaigns. The public sector, however, enjoys the liberty of confidentiality in its operations hence the organizing process is quicker, certain more rigid (Sandronsky, 2009).

Question 3
The NLRB plays more of an administrative role on matters relating to union workers. This role covers administrative activities such as the conduction of elections. The NLRB also carries investigations on issues relating to unfair labor practices (National Labor Relations Board, n.d.). Although the NLRB has no power to access penalties, it has the authority to “issue injunctions against employers and unions” to halt any issues of fairness and inequality. Furthermore, they are tasked by labor laws to enforce orders, participate in deciding cases and facilitating settlements (National Labor Relations Board, n.d.).

The FLRA, on the other hand, acts as both a watchdog and a facilitator (FLRA, n.d.). The body not only adjudicates disputes relating to unfairness in labor practices but also provides leadership in compliance with statutory requirements. Through leadership, the FLRA offers guidance to all individuals and bodies participating in the “federal labor-management relations programme.” Although the two organizations seem to share some roles, the difference comes in the level of mandate and nature of execution since one is tasked with managerial tasks while the other with mentorship and facilitation.

Question 4
According to the National Labor Regulations Board (n.d.), all employees are accorded equal rights by the National Labor Relations Act to not only form a union but also join an existing one, whether one’s employer recognizes it or not. Furthermore, the law accords individuals to abscond unions that have lost their members. The law, however, excludes all individuals who work under the government, domestic service industry, and the agricultural sector. It also excludes those employed by a spouse or parent or one who is an independent contractor or supervisor.

At the formation stage of a union, need identification is usually referenced from the National Labor Relations Act. At the information gathering step, an analysis of various worker rights violated is carried out at this stage, data pertaining industry cost structure, competition and other factors are collected. According to NLRB (n.d), the union officiating stage requires the participation of at least 30% of employees for an election to be conducted. According to Shimbankuro (2011), the ‘Employee Free Choice Act of introduced in the 11th Congress would have allowed union certification based on signed authorizations, provided a process for the bargaining of an initial agreement, and prescribed new penalties for specific unfair labor practices.”

  • Federal Labor Relations Authority. (n.d.). Retrieved from
  • National Labor Relations Board . (n.d.). Retrieved from
  • National Labor Relations Board . (n.d.). Retrieved from
  • Sandronsky, S. (2009). A Stark Difference: Public vs. Private Sector Organizing. Retrieved from
  • Shimabukuro, J. O. (2011). The Employee Free Choice Act.