Empowering workers to better their workplaces.
Raising Workplace Standards, Together.
People form unions because they want to make positive changes in their workplace. A union is a nonprofit employee organization—protected by law—that helps workers speak up in a unified voice for workplace improvements. By forming a union, employees can come together to bargain a legally-binding contract that ensures workers are treated fairly and that they have the tools they need to thrive—like a living wage, secure benefits, and a voice at the decision-making table
A Voice on the Job
Issues That Are Important to You
Join the Movement.
Local 459 is a labor Union for white collar workers. It is dedicated to improving the work life of its members and the community. Local 459 has more than 2,700 members who work throughout the lower peninsula of Michigan.
How to Form a Union
People form unions because they want to make positive changes and gain protections in their workplace. Although work settings and issues vary, you can count on these 5 basic steps to create a union where you work. Remember that every step of the way, your right to form a union is protected under US law. Are you ready to get started?
Step 1: Talk to Coworkers and Gather Information
Approach trusted colleagues to talk about what a union might look like in your workplace, and gather information about recurring issues. Local 459 can help provide the resources you’ll need, so reach out to us for guidance throughout the process.
Step 2: Form the Organizing Committee
The organizing committee will educate colleagues about what forming a union means, motivate coworkers to take action with confidence, identify common workplace issues, and help plan how to build a union in your workplace.
Step 3: Build a Majority
It’s time to talk more openly with other coworkers. Work with your organizer to build a plan to win over a super-majority of your coworkers. This is the time to make sure your coworkers have all of their questions answered, because next you’re going to ask them to take action!
Step 4: Make Your Union Official
When you can show a strong majority of support, usually through the signing of “authorization cards” or a petition, the next step is to make your union official. There are a number of ways to do this, and you and your colleagues can decide which method is best for your workplace.
Step 5: Bargain a Strong Contract
It’s time to bargain a strong contract. Your staff union will elect a negotiating team and decide what changes and improvements you want to see. The final agreement will be ratified by union members before it’s put into place. You can count on Local 459 staff to provide support every step of the way.
Frequently Asked Questions
WHAT'S A UNION?
HOW DO I JOIN OR FORM A UNION?
WHAT GOES INTO A UNION CONTRACT?
WHO RUNS THE UNION?
WHAT ARE MY LEGAL RIGHTS?
HOW WILL MY EMPLOYER REACT?
HOW MUCH ARE DUES?
HOW ARE DUES SPENT?
WHAT ABOUT STRIKES?
How can I get started?
If you’re interested in forming a union, reach out to us to learn more about the process. Local 459 can provide the resources you’ll need to lay the foundation to build a strong union, and they have experience to help you draft a plan that makes sense for you and your coworkers.