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  • Looking to Organize?

    How to Form a Union: A Comprehensive Guide from IBEW 965

    Welcome to our step-by-step guide on forming a union, a valuable resource for employees seeking to improve their working conditions, wages, and rights. Unionizing can be a powerful tool for creating a more equitable and supportive workplace. This guide will walk you through the key stages of the unionization process, ensuring you have the knowledge and tools to navigate this journey effectively.

    Understanding Unionization

    What is a Union?  
    A union is an organized group of workers who come together to make decisions about conditions affecting their work. Unions help workers secure better wages, benefits, and working conditions through collective bargaining with employers.

    Steps to Unionizing

    1. Building a Organizing Committee
    Begin by forming an organizing committee comprising trustworthy and enthusiastic coworkers. This committee will lead the unionizing efforts, strategize, and communicate with the rest of the workforce.

    2. Assessing Employee Interest
    Gauge the interest of your coworkers in forming a union. This step is crucial in understanding the support you have and the issues that are most important to the workforce.

    3. Connecting with a Union
    Reach out to a local or national union for guidance and support. They can provide valuable resources, legal knowledge, and experience in organizing. IBEW 965 will organize all workers in any industry. We currently represent electric and gas utility work, construction, manufacturing, professional and clerical work. If you or your co-workers would like more information, please feel free to call our office at 608-274-5600. We are willing to communicate in any form, including setting up an in-person meeting with no obligations. We also have the ability to host conference calls and video conferencing.  

    4. Signing Authorization Cards
    One of the most crucial steps in forming a union is collecting signed authorization cards from your colleagues. These cards indicate that the workers wish to be represented by a union. It's important to secure a significant majority, as this will demonstrate substantial interest in unionizing.

    Link to sign a digital Authorization Card. NOTE: All cards are confidential between the individual who signs and the IBEW representative. This card will be used to show interest to the NLRB to secure a vote. Your employer will never see any signed authorization cards.

    5. Filing a Petition
    Once a sufficient number of authorization cards are collected, the next step is to file a petition with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) for a union representation election.

    6. Campaigning for a Union
    Before the election, conduct a campaign to educate your colleagues about the benefits of unionizing and to encourage them to vote in favor of the union.

    7. The Representation Election
    The NLRB will conduct a secret ballot election. If the majority of voters favor the union, the NLRB will certify the union as the representative for collective bargaining.

    8. Negotiating a Contract
    After certification, the next step is to negotiate a contract with the employer. This contract will cover wages, benefits, working conditions, and other important aspects of employment. The workers will be a part of this committee and ultimately drive the best interests of the work group.


    Forming a union is a significant and empowering step towards better workplace conditions. It requires dedication, organization, and a collective effort. This guide is just the beginning; reach out to unions and labor experts for further guidance and support.

    Remember, unionizing is about building strength through solidarity. Your journey towards a fairer workplace begins here. use the information below to learn more about how a union can help your workplace!

    Order By: [Date] [Name] [Ascendant]

    Authorization Card Information
    03/05/2024 - 0.15MB
    Here you will more information about Authorization Cards.
    Next steps after a "yes" vote
    03/05/2024 - 0.24MB
    Recognition through election vs. voluntary
    03/05/2024 - 0.33MB
    NLRA Rights Information
    01/03/2024 - 1.57MB
    Labor Unions and the Middle Class
    01/03/2024 - 0.50MB
    US Treasury Executive Summary on Unions
    Status Quo Supreme Court Decisions
    12/26/2023 - 0.25MB
    Workers are given a fair chance to bargain and improve their working conditions with the supreme court rulings in the Auto Nation and Katz case.

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