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New Poster Advises Employees Of Their Right To Unionize
 
The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) issued a ruling on August 25, 2011 that requires all employers subject to the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) (including manufacturers and virtually all other private sector employers) to inform employees of their right to unionize. The rule is scheduled to be posted in the Federal Register on August 30, 2011, and will take effect 75 days later, on November 14, 2011. The ruling requires employers to post a notice in all locations where notices are usually posted, including electronic posting on employee intranet sites.

The 11x17” poster, which will be available soon, will be provided to employers at no cost. The poster can also be downloaded from the NLRB’s website and printed in color or black and white. Translated versions of the poster will be available and those versions must be posted at workplaces where at least 20% of employees are not proficient in English. Once the NLRB poster is available, all private sector employers should take steps to have the poster put up this fall. Although there will be no monetary fines assessed, failure to post the notice by November 14 is considered an unfair labor practice.

This latest ruling is largely in answer to the ongoing decline in union membership seen over the past 30 years. Unions, which rely on member dues to keep afloat and pay big salaries to union leaders, need to boost membership to stay alive. Today, less than seven percent of private sector workers are unionized compared to the 1980s when approximately 20 percent of the workforce was comprised of card-carrying union members. Although the number of union elections conducted increased by 26 percent from 2009 to 2010, the win percentage held steady at 69 percent. Although unions have been devoting substantial financial resources to organizing activities they have not achieved the results they are seeking and have been turning to legislation and rule-making to help their cause. By informing all employees of their right to unionize, unions hope there will be more certification elections with a win for the union.

To keep your workplace union-free it is important to understand why employees to seek out unions. Simply put, employees who are worried about job security, who feel that their concerns have fallen on deaf ears, who think they are not being treated fairly, who were passed up for a promotion or who believe they are not being fairly compensated for their work, are prime targets for unions. It may be time to audit your workplace policies and practices and identify any areas in which your organization may be vulnerable to a union organization effort.
 
If you have any questions about these topics or any other employment or labor law issue, please call me at 414-988-8404 or contact me via e-mail at: mailto:%20tpk@kclegal.com. Thanks.

Posted 09/02/2011.
 
Thomas P. Krukowski, Esq.
Krukowski & Costello, S.C.
http://www.krukowski.com/
 
Legislative Partner

Krukowski &
Costello
 
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Margie Harvey

Margie Harvey, SPHR
Miles Kimball Company 
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Oshkosh, WI  54906
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Em: mharvey@mileskimball.com

 
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