Know Your Rights

Know your rights in the workplace!


“Employees shall have the right to self-organization, to form, join or assist labor organizations, to bargain collectively through representatives of their own choosing, and to engage in other concerted activities for the purpose of collective bargaining or other mutual aid or protection.” – The United States National Labor Relations Act, Section 7


During a union organizing campaign, employers will use many different tactics to frighten or intimidate workers and dissolve solidarity. Some employers will even go so far as to break the law in order to crush the rights of their employees. It is important to know your rights while you organize to secure fair treatment at your workplace. Workers have the statutory right to bargain with their employers through representatives of their own choosing.


You have a legal right to:


  • Join a union.
  • Attend a union meeting on your own time.
  • Talk to a UMWA (or any other union) organizer.
  • Declare your support for the UMWA or any labor union.
  • Assist in forming a new bargaining unit with the UMWA or other labor union at your workplace.
  • Assist the UMWA or another labor union in organizing your co-workers.


Employers are forbidden by law to engage in the following actions:


  • Threaten a worker with discharge or punishment for engaging in union activity.
  • Threaten to shut down the business or company branch if the employees join a union.
  • Prevent a worker from soliciting fellow members during non-work hours.
  • Question their employees about union business, meetings, or supporters.
  • Ask how any employee intends to vote in an election to organize.
  • Ask whether the employee belongs to a union or has signed up to join a union.
  • Transfer or assign an employee to a less desirable position or otherwise punish that employee because of his/her union activity.
  • Promise a bonus, benefit, or gift to any employee to discourage them from supporting a union.
  • Threaten to cut an employees’ pay or terminate benefits because they unionized.
  • Threaten to layoff or fire an employee in retaliation for voting to organize into a collective bargaining unit.


Employers WILL break labor laws to keep their employees from winning their legal rights in the workplace.


If you feel your rights have been violated, contact the National Labor Relations Board or your UMWA Organizer.