There are two possible routes to your union: the company can agree to a free and fair process for certifying your union, or we can seek certification through the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). Under either scenario, building and maintaining strong majority support among workers will drive the success of your campaign and make your union more democratic and representative.
Your organizing campaign can be broken down into these broad steps:
1) Form a Diverse Organizing Committee. This is made up of workers who will help organize the union. Members of the organizing committee answer questions, get the word out, build support, and help make strategic decisions about forming your union.
2) Build Majority Support. To build support for the union, we collect signed union authorization cards from workers. These cards establish the level of support for the union. In addition, they provide a means of gathering up-to-date contact and work information from workers who support the union. These cards are ultimately used in the recognition or NLRB certification process (see below).
3) Union Recognition. With the supermajority established, you and your coworkers can establish the union one of two ways.
4a) Demand Recognition from the company. Approach the company and demand they agree to a fair process for certifying your union. They will have the opportunity to do the right thing by simply agreeing to recognize your right to form a union.
4b) Petition the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). If the company is unwilling to agree to a fair process for establishing your union, we will petition the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), the federal agency responsible for certifying unions. We will deliver your signed union authorization cards to the board, which will compare them to a list of eligible workers provided by the company. If the NLRB verifies that enough workers of workers have signed authorization cards, the board will schedule an election.
5) Union Election. All eligible workers will be able to cast a vote on unionization. If a majority of the workers who participate in the election vote YES, your union will be certified.
6) Elect a Bargaining Committee. Once your union is certified, you and your coworkers will elect your bargaining committee. This committee will consist of coworkers from Toyota, elected by the worker membership, who are willing to take on the commitment of helping to negotiate your first contract.
7) Collect Bargaining Surveys. The bargaining committee will circulate surveys that members will use to tell the committee what they want to see in a contract. This is an opportunity for all workers to describe the changes they would like to see in their working conditions and compensation, as well as to emphasize which current aspects of their work that they would like protected.
8) Vote on Bargaining Goals. Based on bargaining survey responses, the bargaining committee will create a list of bargaining goals, which will be broad and all-encompassing. These goals must then be ratified by a vote of the membership.
9) Negotiate a Contract. With the priorities established in the bargaining survey, the committee will bargain a contract with the company.
10) Vote to Ratify the Contract. The bargaining committee will negotiate a draft contract, called a “tentative agreement,” with the company. The membership will then vote on the agreement. If they ratify it, then you have your first contract. If they choose to reject it, then the bargaining committee will return to the negotiating table.
10a) Union dues. Workers do not pay dues until we have voted to ratify your first union contract.
11) Contract Enforcement, Election of Officers, and Governing Your Local Union. Once you and your coworkers have your first contract in place, you will elect your officers and stewards, whose responsibility is to enforce your contract. You and your coworkers will also vote on a set of bylaws which will determine how you govern your local and how you spend your dues.