How the unionization process works in the US. A thread. 

How the unionization process works in the US. A thread. 

How the unionization process works in the US. A thread. 

How the unionization process works in the US. A thread. 

How the unionization process works in the US. A thread. 

How the unionization process works in the US. A thread. 


How the unionization process works in the US. A thread. 

I will repeat my offer to anyone in the US or Canada who is interested in starting a union: if you want to start a union, shoot me a message and I can give you resources, share my experiences, and help you figure out how to get started.


If you are sincerely asking: a union is an organization of workers who pool resources and collective power to have more control over their working conditions. This usually takes the form of a "collective bargaining agreement", which is a negotiated agreement between the workers and the employer, though in Europe these agreements are often made across whole industries, rather than with individual businesses. They negotiate for things like increased pay, benefits, workplace safety standards, and other things workers need. Unions are historically responsible for things we now take for granted, like 8 hour days, 5 day work weeks, paid time off for illness, and vacation days. Unions are the primary way workers are able to exert some manner of control over their working lives.

If you know what a union is and are trying to make a joke: fuck off

@turtlebirb What you call Unions are what I call "Cooperatives". I am pro-cooperative, and advocating for cooperatives for a very long time. No joke at my level regarding this important topix. Cooperatives are definitely the future.

@stman @turtlebirb Cooperatives are definitely not the same as unions!

Worker cooperatives may be what you're thinking of. But other kinds of co-ops, like housing co-ops, retail co-ops, and agricultural co-ops, have workforces employed *by* the members. E.g., farmers may have a co-op to sell their products or share equipment, but rely on non-unionized employees or contractors to actually do the farming. (In fact many retail cooperatives have been hostile to employees unionizing.)

@stman @turtlebirb In many situations, forming a worker co-op is not feasible, nor the best way to improve your working conditions. E.g. local actors, fast food employees at a multinational chain, grad students, etc.

I suggest reading up on the labour movement, which is distinct from the co-operative movement.

@nev @stman absolutely. My experience organizing a union is attempting to unionize the staff at a consumer cooperative. While unions are in some ways similar to cooperatives (they are democratic, member-run organizations for the benefit of their members) their goals, legal status, and overall structure are different.

@turtlebirb as someone who has been a part of unionizing at workplace, this is the jam! :anidab_left: :anidab_right:

@turtlebirb thank you for this thread. This is a dream I carry with me at all times but the task seems so incredibly huge. I live in Georgia, so not only are the labor laws incredibly hostile to workers, class consciousness is dim at best, and misinformation is rife.

Plus I’m a tired neurodivergent.

But thank you, again.

@Ethancdavenport omg i hear you. It is a big task, which is why you can't do it alone. Having a few comrades makes all the difference. Maybe even just dispelling misinformation over time would be a good starting point if you don't have any folks to discuss the possibility with.

@turtlebirb I’m always trying to think of ways to do this. Thank you for the encouragement!!

@Ethancdavenport I have a thought.

Do you think you could leave literature in your break room without anyone knowing you had done it?

@ajroach42 yep that’s where the time clock is so \_(ツ)_/¯

@Ethancdavenport @ajroach42 leaving literature without having laid enough groundwork first might lead to repercussions like the bosses starting an union-busting campaign too early, making it harder to convince people.

One of the most important strategies in a union campaign is called "inoculation", where you preempt anti-union messaging and tactics by predicting the bosses reactions and giving examples of anti-union behaviour from other campaigns. This gives people the critical distance required for them to dismiss or not be intimidated by the same tactics used in your workplace.

If union-busting starts before you have had the chance to lay that groundwork, there's a good chance you'll find yourself fighting an uphill battle.

@Ethancdavenport @ajroach42 Person to person is always the best approach, especially in the beginning.

@turtlebirb @Ethancdavenport This is a great point.

I ran in to this when I was working retail. Day one, they showed an anti-union video and it said explicitly "report anyone attempting to unionize to your manager".

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