Authorization Cards & Petitions FAQS

When I sign an authorization card or Petition, will it be submitted to my employer?

No! Your employer is forbidden by law from asking if you signed an authorization card/petition. “A” cards, as they are referred to in the Union, are used as proof of majority support. The cards/petitions are necessary to receive recognition from the employer of the IAM. If necessary, the cards/petitions will be submitted to the National Labor Relations Board (also called the NLRB, or Labor Board) with a formal petition to request a secret ballot election.

What is the NLRB/Labor Board?

The NLRB, National Labor Relations Board, or Labor Board, is an agency of the Federal Government whose responsibility is to enforce the law giving employees the right to be represented by the Union.

If I sign an authorization card or petition, does this mean I have joined the Union?

No. Joining the Union is a separate and distinctly different action. Before joining the IAM, you must complete a membership application.

If I sign an “A” card/petition, does this obligate me to vote for the Union in the secret ballot election?

No. Of course, we hope, that all employees vote for the IAM, whether or not they signed an “A” card or petition. The Labor Board election is a secret ballot and you are free to vote as you choose in the privacy of your secret voting booth. However, signing an “A” card/petition should be a sincere commitment to support the organizing program.

If a majority of employees vote YES in the Labor Board election, do we automatically become members of the Machinists Union?

Again, the answer is NO. A “YES” vote in the secret ballot election by you and a majority of our fellow employees means only that you win the right to be represented by the Machinists Union, to have a voice in determining your wages, hours, benefits and working conditions. As we mentioned before, joining the Union is a separate and distinct action.

Why do employers fight so hard to defeat employees’ efforts to join the Machinists Union?

They fight so hard because they know that the Machinists Union provides a balance of power between you, the employee, and the employer. They know the Machinists Union brings skills and training to the bargaining table that results in contracts with improved wages, sound working conditions, outstanding pensions, and substantial health insurance benefits. To summarize: he fights so hard because he simply doesn’t want to pay you what you’re worth.

Will anyone know how I voted in the election?

Absolutely not. As we pointed out earlier, the Labor Board conducts the election by secret ballot. No one – neither you nor employer nor the Union – will know how you voted.

If my fellow employees and me vote for the Union, what happens if we’re not satisfied later on?

The same law that gives you the right to vote for union representation also gives you the right to vote it out if you’re not satisfied.