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Halting Card Signing Momentum

By Howard M. Bloom
  • July 7, 2001

At the onset of every organizing drive, union organizers attempt to secure employee signatures on union authorization cards or petitions. Many employees sign these documents without understanding their significance or implications, which may lead to an inadvertent assent to support the union. For example, an uninformed employee can be convinced by sophisticated union organizers and co-workers to sign a union card as a favor for a friend, as a means of getting "more information" about the union, or as a way to stop unrelenting requests to sign. The union relies on this lack of knowledge to generate a wave of card signing. If the union's card gathering effort is not challenged, the union can secure a sufficient number of signed authorization cards to file an election petition at the Labor Board or request voluntary recognition from the employer.

As soon as you learn of possible card signing, schedule an immediate meeting with employees to discuss the union card, and explain what it is and is not. This meeting will provide employees with good reasons not to sign a card -the ammunition they need to ward off a card solicitor. Distributing a sample union card to employees will educate them to recognize union cards when employees are solicited to sign, decreasing the chance they will sign believing the cards are something else. Your immediate response can pay significant dividends since it may be very difficult for a union to restart union card signing once employees kNOw what signing a union card really means.

©2001 Jackson Lewis P.C. This material is provided for informational purposes only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice nor does it create a client-lawyer relationship between Jackson Lewis and any recipient. Recipients should consult with counsel before taking any actions based on the information contained within this material. This material may be considered attorney advertising in some jurisdictions. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.

Reproduction of this material in whole or in part is prohibited without the express prior written consent of Jackson Lewis P.C., a law firm that built its reputation on providing workplace law representation to management. Founded in 1958, the firm has grown to more than 900 attorneys in major cities nationwide serving clients across a wide range of practices and industries including government relations, healthcare and sports law. More information about Jackson Lewis can be found at www.jacksonlewis.com.

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