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Joining together with IBEW The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.

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1 Joining together with IBEW The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers

2 Your company thinks you don’t need a union. Since when do they know what’s best for you and your family?

3 You are organizing with IBEW to make your jobs better and more secure; and we want you to be successful. That’s why those of us who already joined together in the IBEW want you to know what you can expect from your employer during your campaign. You are organizing with IBEW to make your jobs better and more secure; and we want you to be successful. That’s why those of us who already joined together in the IBEW want you to know what you can expect from your employer during your campaign.

4 Not every employer uses the same tactics to prevent us from exercising our legal right to form a union, but we want you to know – well in advance – that unfortunately there is a pattern or script that most employers follow. Most will do some or all of the following: Make promises or empty threats. Tell lies about our union Spread rumors to discourage or divide you and your coworkers Refuse to have an open, honest debate on the issues that prompted you to seek a union.

5  The first thing many employers do is try to confuse their employees.  Employers may claim the union is an “outside” organization.  Employers may claim that the Union does not have your best interests in mind.  Employers may claim that the Union will make all of the decision about your job for you.  The first thing many employers do is try to confuse their employees.  Employers may claim the union is an “outside” organization.  Employers may claim that the Union does not have your best interests in mind.  Employers may claim that the Union will make all of the decision about your job for you.

6 The Truth Our union, IBEW is made up of over725,000 members from across the United States. Our members go to work in offices and workplaces just like yours everyday. They are no different than you and your families. We at the IBEW are assisting you because you wanted help in forming a union. IBEW will be what you and your coworkers need it to be. We have organizers and professional staff to provide support, advice, and assistance along with the support you’ll need along the way. But the decisions about running your union and negotiating your first contract with management will be made by you and your coworkers we are only here to show you how it’s done..

7 When you become part of the IBEW, you elect the people who run our union. You vote using the fundamentals of democracy to elect the officers who are our Union’s governing body. You choose – using the same elective process the delegates to our conventions. The convention which is held every five years is a gathering of all of the locals throughout the country where decisions are made to implement changes to our organization as the needs arise. So, when your employer claims that “the union” is some “outside” entity, they are in reality attacking YOU. The company is implying that you and your coworkers at NOT capable of making your own decisions. The company is implying that the Union will not represent the best interests of yourselves and your families. Finally they are implying that it is NOT in YOUR best interest to speak up and get not only what you WANT but what you DESERVE. When you become part of the IBEW, you elect the people who run our union. You vote using the fundamentals of democracy to elect the officers who are our Union’s governing body. You choose – using the same elective process the delegates to our conventions. The convention which is held every five years is a gathering of all of the locals throughout the country where decisions are made to implement changes to our organization as the needs arise. So, when your employer claims that “the union” is some “outside” entity, they are in reality attacking YOU. The company is implying that you and your coworkers at NOT capable of making your own decisions. The company is implying that the Union will not represent the best interests of yourselves and your families. Finally they are implying that it is NOT in YOUR best interest to speak up and get not only what you WANT but what you DESERVE.

8 HIRE A UNION –BUSTING CONSULTING FIRM. Lawyers and “labor-management” consulting firms make huge amounts of money advising employers on how to use “scripts” prepared by consultants. Is your employer following some consultant’s anti-union script: If so, ask yourself why your employer hasn’t responded to you and your coworkers’ needs or invested the same amount of time and money into workplace improvements? PRESSURE SUPERVISORS TO PRESSURE YOU Employers usually order supervisors to take the lead in campaigns against employees seeking a union. Typically, supervisors hold “one-on-one” meetings with individual workers. Companies will often tell supervisors that they will lose their job if employees vote in a union. They also tell supervisors that a union contract would prevent them from playing favorites or criticizing workers. Remember, supervisors generally don’t have unions, so they can be forced into doing things that they don’t really believe in just to keep their jobs – even supervisors you like!

9 ENCOURAGE A FEW EMPLOYEES TO CAMPAIGN AGAINST YOU. In many campaigns, “Vote-No” or “No-Union” committees of unnamed employees crop up. The material they circulate seems to present the employer’s perspective. Such committees generally adopt a “homemade” style for leaflets so it won’t look as if the employer is producing or paying for the material because doing so is against the law. Literature from employee “vote-no” or “no-union” committees usually never identifies any of the workers who supposedly make up these committees. The most successful literature always identifies {in pictures, by name or by signature} the workers who are supporting a union. No one usually ever finds out who paid for the committee’s expenses, or feeds them the ideas, rumors and misinformation they circulate. What do you suppose they are promised for doing their employer’s dirty work? SEND LETTERS TO YOU AND YOUR FAMILY. After ignoring employees’ concerns for a long time, your employer may take a sudden interest in you by sending you letters. This tactic is designed to mislead or divide your committee and coworkers before union supporters have a chance to respond.

10 HOLD MEETINGS TO SWEET-TALK OR BROW BEAT YOU. You may be required to spend some time at work in mandatory “captive audience” meetings where managers make empty promises or try to scare you. Management does not use the meetings to tell you that they are worried about your getting a union because they will have to treat you better, instead, they use the meetings to claim that they are “worried” what will happen to you {You may wonder why they care so much now!} They will claim that bad things will happen to you if you get a union-that you’ll lose benefits or be “forced out” on strike. If you hear about an upcoming captive-audience meeting do some research in advance. If you ask good questions your employer will probably not give straight answers – and they may even stop allowing questions at all. Companies often try to keep union supporters out of these meetings so they won’t be faced with questions they can’t answer, or that will embarrass the company.

11 DENY YOUR RIGHTS THROUGH DELAY AND VIOLATIONS OF THE LAW. Union busters always advise employers to delay every step of the way when workers have organized together in order to form a union. As the National Labor Relations Act {NLRA} law is now being enforced by the government, employers often find loopholes in the law to delay your union election or later, prolong your contract negotiations after you vote in a union. Employers often deliberately violate the law by telling lies about the union or your rights, or that the company will be forced to close if you vote in a union, even though they realize that they might later be required by the National Labor Relations Board {NLRB} to post a notice stating that they violated the law and your rights. Since employers are trying to do everything they can to reduce union support at your workplace, any penalties are viewed as an acceptable and necessary risk. The best way to defeat illegal employer tactics during your campaign to get a union representation is to expect them, and to let your employer know that such tactics will only make you more determined to get union representation.

12 SPRING A LAST-MINUTE SURPRISE ON YOU. Just before workers are scheduled to vote in the union representation election, union busters often urge employers to spring a special event, or issue an unfounded attack because it will be too late for union supporters to respond. These surprise actions might be announced by the company-endorsed employees’ “no-union” committee. SOME EXAMPLES OF THESE SURPRISES MIGHT BE:  A captive audience meeting featuring a speech by an executive the company flies in from corporate headquarters  An unfounded charge about the union or its supporters.  A rumor about a possible raise or plant shutdown.  A handbill or letter with distorted facts about a union contract, strike or layoff at another workplace.  Expect a last minute surprise aimed at keeping you from making a free choice – then it won’t work because it won’t be a surprise at all!

13 CORPORATIONS OR EMPLOYERS WHO HAVE USED ANTI UNION TACTICS THESE NUMBERS TELL THE STORY! 92% HOLD MANDATORY MEETINGS 78% CONDUCT ONE ON ONE MEETINGS 75% HIRE “LABOR” CONSULTANTS 75% HAND OUT ANTI LABOR LITER 70% MAIL ANTI LABOR LETTERS 51% THREATENED TO CLOSE FACILITY 48% PROMISE IMPROVEMENTS 34% MAKE BRIBES /SPECIAL FAVORS 31% ASSIST ANTI UNION COMMITTEES A WHOPPING 62% USE 5 OR MORE OF THESE TACTICS. DON’T BE FOOLED!

14 HERE ARE SOME THINGS YOUR EMLOYER MIGHT SAY OR DO TO SWAY YOU FROM JOINING WITH A UNION. Your employer may do things like give you two checks on payday: one is a phony check with union dues “taken out” – Pass out a mock check which shows how much dues you will pay as a group each year. – bring in a basket of groceries with a label “what you could buy with one year’s dues.” “YOU CAN’T AFFORD TO PAY UNION DUES.” “THE UNION IS ONLY INTERESTED IN YOU FOR YOUR MONEY.” Your employer may give you “documents” or newspaper clippings which are supposed to show that IBEW is losing members and needs your dues money to survive. “THE UNION CAN RAISE YOUR DUES OR CHARGE YOU OTHER ASSESSMENTS WHENEVER IT FEELS LIKE IT.” Your employer may try to make you think you will be charge with additional fees once you get a union. Remember: you will not begin to pay any union does until you vote to approve your first contract.

15 THE FACTS ABOUT THE IBEW – YOUR UNION CHOICE IBEW IS A FINANCIALLY STRONG UNION AND EXISTS ONLY TO SERVE US, THE MEMBERS. We want to help other workers organize because every time a group of new workers gets a union and union contract it puts added pressure on employers to improve pay and working conditions. WE – THE IBEW MEMBERS – DECIDE HOW OUR DUES ARE UTILIZED All decisions about our union’s budget – including salaries for our elected union officers and professional staff who serve us- are made at our convention by our elected delegates, the same delegates we spoke about earlier. Delegates who are elected by the membership to represent the various locals at the convention.

16 WHAT THE COMPANY MAY SAY ON THE SUBJECT OF STRIKES “UNIONS LOVE STRIKES” Your employer may talk as thought the whole purpose of the union is to call strikes. “IBEW CAN FORCE YOU TO STRIKE.” Your employer may suggest that, soon after you vote for union representation, you will be forced out on strike whether you like it or not – either for your own contract or to support other workers. “IF YOU STRIKE, IBEW WILL NOT SUPPORT YOU.” Your employer may scare you about strikes by asking how you and your family could survive during a strike without your income. “UNIONS LOVE STRIKES” Your employer may talk as thought the whole purpose of the union is to call strikes. “IBEW CAN FORCE YOU TO STRIKE.” Your employer may suggest that, soon after you vote for union representation, you will be forced out on strike whether you like it or not – either for your own contract or to support other workers. “IF YOU STRIKE, IBEW WILL NOT SUPPORT YOU.” Your employer may scare you about strikes by asking how you and your family could survive during a strike without your income.

17 THE FACTS ABOUT STRIKES AND THE IBEW WE JOINED IBEW TO IMPROVE OUR JOBS – NOT TO STRIKE. In 98 percent of the cases, IBEW has succeeded in negotiating new contracts without a strike. ONLY IBEW MEMBERS CAN DECIDE WHETHER WE WANT TO STRIKE. In IBEW, a strike can only be called by a majority of the workers who would be directly involved, and only after a majority of the affected members vote to support a strike in a secret-ballot election. We are supportive of all Labor Unions and ask our members to honor picket lines of other unions. However, you will never be asked to go on strike because of a dispute somewhere else.

18 THE COMPANY SAYS THE UNION WILL “CONTROL” YOU “IBEW WILL FINE YOU FOR MISBEHAVIOR” Your employer may tell you that you can be fined by IBEW if you don’t attend union meetings or don’t vote for political candidates endorsed by the union. “WHEN YOU SIGN A CARD FOR IBEW, YOU SIGN YOUR LIFE AWAY.” Your employer may hint that you will start getting orders from “union bosses” if you sign a union authorization card. “IBEW WILL CONTROL YOUR PROMOTIONS AND JOB ASSIGNMENTS” Your employer may suggest that distant union officials will control your working conditions and will be able to play favorites the way management can now. “IBEW WON’T LET YOU TAKE A PROBLEM DIRECTLY TO MANAGEMENT.” Your employer may claim that, under IBEW contracts, workers must let “outsiders” from the union speak for them. “IBEW WILL FINE YOU FOR MISBEHAVIOR” Your employer may tell you that you can be fined by IBEW if you don’t attend union meetings or don’t vote for political candidates endorsed by the union. “WHEN YOU SIGN A CARD FOR IBEW, YOU SIGN YOUR LIFE AWAY.” Your employer may hint that you will start getting orders from “union bosses” if you sign a union authorization card. “IBEW WILL CONTROL YOUR PROMOTIONS AND JOB ASSIGNMENTS” Your employer may suggest that distant union officials will control your working conditions and will be able to play favorites the way management can now. “IBEW WON’T LET YOU TAKE A PROBLEM DIRECTLY TO MANAGEMENT.” Your employer may claim that, under IBEW contracts, workers must let “outsiders” from the union speak for them.

19 TAKE A LOOK AT THE FACTS FROM THE IBEW YOU WILL NOT BE TOLD WHAT TO DO BY IBEW If you want a strong union to represent you, you’ll probably decide to participate in IBEW activities – but that is completely up to you. No one can force you to come to union meetings or vote for certain candidates. Political contributions to candidates are made voluntarily by IBEW members. SIGNING A UNION CARD SIMPLY MEANS YOU WANT A UNION All decisions at IBEW are made democratically. There are no “union bosses.” We, the members, run our union. WITH UNION REPRESENTATION, YOU WILL HAVE A FAIR SYSTEM FOR PROMOTIONS AND JOB ASSIGNMENTS Not a system that is arbitrary or based on favoritism. IBEW contracts do not give union officials any power over us; they give us power in our workplace and a voice in our jobs. However, our contracts do limit management’s ability to use a different or arbitrary set of rules for employees. YOU WILL NOT BE TOLD WHAT TO DO BY IBEW If you want a strong union to represent you, you’ll probably decide to participate in IBEW activities – but that is completely up to you. No one can force you to come to union meetings or vote for certain candidates. Political contributions to candidates are made voluntarily by IBEW members. SIGNING A UNION CARD SIMPLY MEANS YOU WANT A UNION All decisions at IBEW are made democratically. There are no “union bosses.” We, the members, run our union. WITH UNION REPRESENTATION, YOU WILL HAVE A FAIR SYSTEM FOR PROMOTIONS AND JOB ASSIGNMENTS Not a system that is arbitrary or based on favoritism. IBEW contracts do not give union officials any power over us; they give us power in our workplace and a voice in our jobs. However, our contracts do limit management’s ability to use a different or arbitrary set of rules for employees.

20 HERE ARE SOME UNFOUNDED THREATS THE COMPANY MAY MAKE “WE WON’T EVER SIGN A UNION CONTRACT EVEN IF YOU VOTE FOR IBEW” Since it is illegal for the employer to say this directly, you may be told this instead: “Remember, we don’t have to agree to what you want in your union contract.” Your employer may circulate news clippings about another group of workers who voted for a union and didn’t immediately get a contract from their employer. “YOU WILL LOSE THE WAGES AND BENEFITS YOU ALREADY HAVE.” One common management tactic is to distribute a leaflet with two columns – one showing what you have now and one showing a huge question mark and the questions: “what will you get with IBEW.” Another tactic is to show IBEW contracts with other employers that have pay levels or other provisions not as good as what you have now. This is without telling you what the workers had BEFORE they joined IBEW. “WE WILL SHUT DOWN COMPLETELY” Some employers even go so far as parking empty moving vans near the jobsite just before the election. You’re supposed to assume that the vans will be used if you vote union. “UNION SUPPORTERS WILL LOSE THEIR JOBS.” Your company may hint that it plans to take some action against those who support union representation. “WE WON’T BE ONE BIG HAPPY FAMILY IF YOU VOTE IN A UNION, WE WILL BE LESS FLEXIBLE.” Your employer may warn that if you get a union, there will be new rules and reduced flexibility, say in scheduling and in other areas. Your employer may even make some changes and try to blame them on the union. “WE WON’T EVER SIGN A UNION CONTRACT EVEN IF YOU VOTE FOR IBEW” Since it is illegal for the employer to say this directly, you may be told this instead: “Remember, we don’t have to agree to what you want in your union contract.” Your employer may circulate news clippings about another group of workers who voted for a union and didn’t immediately get a contract from their employer. “YOU WILL LOSE THE WAGES AND BENEFITS YOU ALREADY HAVE.” One common management tactic is to distribute a leaflet with two columns – one showing what you have now and one showing a huge question mark and the questions: “what will you get with IBEW.” Another tactic is to show IBEW contracts with other employers that have pay levels or other provisions not as good as what you have now. This is without telling you what the workers had BEFORE they joined IBEW. “WE WILL SHUT DOWN COMPLETELY” Some employers even go so far as parking empty moving vans near the jobsite just before the election. You’re supposed to assume that the vans will be used if you vote union. “UNION SUPPORTERS WILL LOSE THEIR JOBS.” Your company may hint that it plans to take some action against those who support union representation. “WE WON’T BE ONE BIG HAPPY FAMILY IF YOU VOTE IN A UNION, WE WILL BE LESS FLEXIBLE.” Your employer may warn that if you get a union, there will be new rules and reduced flexibility, say in scheduling and in other areas. Your employer may even make some changes and try to blame them on the union.

21 THIS IS AMERICA WORKERS STILL HAVE RIGHTS YOUR EMPLOYER IS LEGALLY REQUIRED TO NEGOTIATE WITH YOU ONCE YOU GAIN UNION REPRESENTATION. SHUTTING DOWN OPERATIONS TO AVOID THE UNION IS AGAINST THE LAW. IT IS AGAINST THE LAW TO PUNISH ANYONE FOR SUPPORTING A UNION. THE RIGHT TO FREE SPEECH DOES NOT STOP AT THE FRONT DOOR OF YOUR PLACE OF EMPLOYMENT YOUR EMPLOYER IS LEGALLY REQUIRED TO NEGOTIATE WITH YOU ONCE YOU GAIN UNION REPRESENTATION. SHUTTING DOWN OPERATIONS TO AVOID THE UNION IS AGAINST THE LAW. IT IS AGAINST THE LAW TO PUNISH ANYONE FOR SUPPORTING A UNION. THE RIGHT TO FREE SPEECH DOES NOT STOP AT THE FRONT DOOR OF YOUR PLACE OF EMPLOYMENT ONCE YOU ARE PART OF A UNION YOU ARE PROTECTED BY LAWS THAT HAVE BEEN FOUGHT FOR BY ORGANIZED LABOR DATING BACK TOBEFORE MOST OF US WERE EVEN HOLD ENOUGH TO WORK. THESE LAWS HAVE BEEN TRIED AND PROVEN THERE ARE PROVISIONS IN PLACE IN OUR COUNTRY TO PROTECT THE AMERICAN WORKER – OUR ANCESTORS MADE SURE OF IT. ONCE YOU ARE PART OF A UNION YOU ARE PROTECTED BY LAWS THAT HAVE BEEN FOUGHT FOR BY ORGANIZED LABOR DATING BACK TOBEFORE MOST OF US WERE EVEN HOLD ENOUGH TO WORK. THESE LAWS HAVE BEEN TRIED AND PROVEN THERE ARE PROVISIONS IN PLACE IN OUR COUNTRY TO PROTECT THE AMERICAN WORKER – OUR ANCESTORS MADE SURE OF IT.

22 PROMISES …..PROMISES SOME EXAMPLES OF WHAT YOUR COMPANY WILL SAY “PLEASE GIVE US ANOTHER CHANCE – WE’LL MAKE THINGS BETTER.” Before the union election, your company may say that because you have shown that you re dissatisfied, it will be able to work out all the problems so there will be no need to vote for a union. “PLEASE GIVE US ANOTHER CHANCE – WE’LL MAKE THINGS BETTER.” Before the union election, your company may say that because you have shown that you re dissatisfied, it will be able to work out all the problems so there will be no need to vote for a union. “WE’LL SET UP PROCEDURES FOR HEARING YOUR COMPLAINTS.” These may include: A new or improved “open door” policy or a “worker participation” scheme so you can talk to management when you have a suggestion or complaint. A “grievance procedure” that is set up much like the system set up by union “WE’LL SET UP PROCEDURES FOR HEARING YOUR COMPLAINTS.” These may include: A new or improved “open door” policy or a “worker participation” scheme so you can talk to management when you have a suggestion or complaint. A “grievance procedure” that is set up much like the system set up by union “WE’LL CHANGE A FEW THINGS THAT ARE BOTHERING YOU.” Your employer may transfer one unpopular supervisor or make changes in certain working conditions that have caused a lot of dissatisfaction. “WE’LL CHANGE A FEW THINGS THAT ARE BOTHERING YOU.” Your employer may transfer one unpopular supervisor or make changes in certain working conditions that have caused a lot of dissatisfaction. IF YOU CAN GET SUCH CHANGES BY TALKING ABOUT A UNION, IMAGINE WHAT YOU WILLB E ABLE TO ACCOMPLISH ONCE YOU GET UNION REPRESENTATION IF YOU CAN GET SUCH CHANGES BY TALKING ABOUT A UNION, IMAGINE WHAT YOU WILLB E ABLE TO ACCOMPLISH ONCE YOU GET UNION REPRESENTATION

23 BROKEN PROMISES THE REAL DEAL GETTING UNION REPRESENTATION AND COLLECTIVE BARGAINING RIGHTS IS THE ONLY WAY TO MAKE CONDITIONS IMPROVE – AND STAY THAT WAY. If your company is really willing to change, it can agree to go along with your bargaining demands during contract negotiations. GETTING UNION REPRESENTATION AND COLLECTIVE BARGAINING RIGHTS IS THE ONLY WAY TO MAKE CONDITIONS IMPROVE – AND STAY THAT WAY. If your company is really willing to change, it can agree to go along with your bargaining demands during contract negotiations. When workers have heeded employers’ promises and pleas to “give us another chance” they find out the hard way that most if not all of the company’s promises are forgotten soon after workers decide against union representation. When workers have heeded employers’ promises and pleas to “give us another chance” they find out the hard way that most if not all of the company’s promises are forgotten soon after workers decide against union representation. UNLESS YOU HAVE A UNON, YOUR EMPLOYER WILL HAVE THE LAST WORD. New procedures for hearing complaints may sound good at first, but without a union your employer can simply ignore your ideas. IBEW contracts provide for the mandatory arbitration of disputes, so that if you and the employer cannot agree on a resolution, the problem is resolved by an impartial third party chosen by both the union and management. UNLESS YOU HAVE A UNON, YOUR EMPLOYER WILL HAVE THE LAST WORD. New procedures for hearing complaints may sound good at first, but without a union your employer can simply ignore your ideas. IBEW contracts provide for the mandatory arbitration of disputes, so that if you and the employer cannot agree on a resolution, the problem is resolved by an impartial third party chosen by both the union and management.

24 VIOLENCE “JOINING A UNION MAY INVOLVE YOU IN VIOLENCE.” Your employer may: Spend money to hire extra security guards – especially around the time of the union representation election – to plant the idea that “here might be trouble”, Encourage someone to slash tires in the employee parking lot, paint obscene slogans on the walls, or do something else that can be blamed on the union. Circulate clippings about violent incidents involving unions – even though they have nothing to do with the IBEW. “JOINING A UNION MAY INVOLVE YOU IN VIOLENCE.” Your employer may: Spend money to hire extra security guards – especially around the time of the union representation election – to plant the idea that “here might be trouble”, Encourage someone to slash tires in the employee parking lot, paint obscene slogans on the walls, or do something else that can be blamed on the union. Circulate clippings about violent incidents involving unions – even though they have nothing to do with the IBEW.

25 AS YOU CAN SEE FROM OUR CHECKLIST, GAINING A UNION AND COLLECTIVE BARGAINING RIGHTS WON’T BE EASY. IT WILL TAKE PATIENCE, HARD WORK, AND COMMITMENT FROM YOUR EMPLOYEE ORGANIZING COMMITTEE TO OVERCOME YOUR EMPLOYER’S LIKELY OPPOSITION. IN ADDITION, THE GAINS WE MAKE AS UNION MEMBERS DON’T COME OVERNIGHT – PROGRESS COMES IN STEPS AND WE KEEP BUILDING UPON WHAT WE HAVE GAINED. AS AN IBEW MEMBER, YOU HAVE THE SUPPORT OF 725,000 WORKERS JUST LIKE YOU. THEY MADE ORGANIZING PAY OFF FOR THEM. YOU CAN TOO!


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