En Español Authorization Cards

Unions are always looking for new dues-paying members and our Banner team members are prime targets. A union's first step in recruiting new members is to get team members to sign a union authorization card, in person or online. So, we want you to have the facts about union authorization cards if you are ever approached by a union organizer.

What is a union authorization card?

A union authorization card, whether physical or electronic, is a legal and binding document that, when signed or submitted, gives a union the right to speak and bargain for you regarding your wages, hours, benefits and other terms and conditions of employment.

What should you know about union authorization cards?

You have the right to refuse to sign a card and tell the union "no."

Union organizers have been known to misrepresent the facts, make false statements, deliver empty promises and even threaten team members to get them to sign a card. Threats or coercion from anyone attempting to get cards signed are unlawful.

Organizers have also been known to pressure and harass team members, at work, at home, on their personal telephones, and via text and email message to get them to sign union authorization cards.

An organizer might also tell you that just signing the card, or clicking the "submit" or "agree" button on an online authorization card, is harmless because you can still vote for or against unionization at an election. However, it is possible for the union to use your signed card to demand recognition from the company and, if that occurs, an election will never occur.  In that case, your signature, handwritten or electronic, could be your vote.  Don’t believe union organizers if they tell you that signing a card is harmless.

Anatomy of a union authorization card

Below is a sample of what a union authorization card might look like and what each section means.

  1. Union organizers may tell you that signing a card, or clicking the “accept” button, will just get you more information or the opportunity for an election; but look closely. Nowhere on the card does it say that it is just for more information.  In fact, by giving the union your authorization, you are agreeing to give up your right to speak for yourself and authorizing the union to speak to management about your job, wages and working conditions.

  2. By obtaining your name, home address, home telephone number, mobile telephone number, and personal email address, the union would be able to contact you outside of work. It might be literature or bothersome phone calls at home. It might be annoying text messages at varying times or mass email distributions.  Or, it might be annoying union organizers coming in person trying to get more information on Banner, as well as names and addresses of your coworkers.

  3. The union organizers may ask for your job classification and current wages so the union can get an idea of how much Banner pays. No matter how much Banner pays its team members, union organizers likely will promise more! If so, ask the union organizers to guarantee their promises in writing and see what happens.

  4. Your signature, handwritten or electronic, on this legal and binding document could be final. If you change your mind, the union is under no obligation to return it.

  5. A signed authorization card is presumptively valid for at least a year after you sign it.

What happens if you sign a union card?

Right now, any signed union authorization cards would be added to other signed cards and, if the union obtains cards from a majority (50% + 1) of the team members in the petitioned-for bargaining unit (which could be a department or just a group of workers), then it can go to Banner and demand to be recognized as the bargaining agent for all of those team members.

If Banner refuses, the union may be able to file a petition for representation with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) if it has a sufficient number of signed union authorization cards. If the union has sufficient support, the NLRB will schedule a secret ballot election where the team members in the petitioned-for bargaining unit will be allowed to vote on whether or not they want to be represented by the union.

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