Q & A

On Your Authorization Card:

When I sign an authorization card, will it be submitted to my employer?
No! Your employer is forbidden by law from asking if you signed an authorization card. ‘A’ cards, as they are referred to in the Union, are used as proof of majority support. If necessary, the cards/petitions will be submitted to the National Labor Relations Board [also called the NLRB, or Labor Board] along with a formal petition to request a secret ballot election.

If I sign an authorization card or Petition, does this mean I have joined the Union?
No. Joining the Union is a separate and distinctly different action. Before joining the IAM, you must complete a membership application.

If I sign an ‘A’ card, does this obligate me to vote for the Union in the secret ballot election?
No. We hope, of course, that all employees vote for the IAM, whether or not they signed an ‘A’ card. The Labor Board election is a secret ballot and you are free to vote as you choose in the privacy of your secret voting booth. However, signing an ‘A’ card should be a sincere commitment to support the organizing program.

On Your Union Contract:

What is a union contract?
A union contract is a legal document that is binding by law. It is negotiated with the employer and provides for, among other things, wages, benefits, hours and general working conditions.

Who draws up our contract?
You do with assistance from skilled, trained professional Union negotiators. All employees in the bargaining unit contribute their ideas for the proposals. Areas where there is usually room for improvement include, but are not limited to:

  • Wages and inflation protection
  • Employer-paid health insurance for employees and their dependents
  • Effective grievance procedures
  • Job security
  • Seniority provisions
  • Additional paid holidays
  • Paid sick leave
  • Improved vacations
  • Work rules that spell out your rights on the job

Is there any limit as to what we can ask for in regard to wages and/or benefits?
No. Keep in mind, however, that what you ask for should be reasonable and justified. Management still retains their rights to hire, discipline and generally manage the company. The difference is you will now have grievance procedures and other protections to protect you against favoritism and unfair treatment. 

Who will do the negotiating?
The employer and his designated representative on one side of the table. On the other, a negotiating committee elected by you, together with your local union representative (s] and your International representative.

Do we have to accept what has been negotiated?
NO! If you do not feel you have gained enough in negotiations, you have the right to vote to reject the contract offer.

lf we vote to form a union, can the employer cut our wages or reduce the few benefits we now receive?
NO! That would violate Federal Law! Therefore, you will negotiate UP from current wages and benefits.

On How We Got Here:

In early 2015, we began our efforts to organize with the Machinists Union for the right to negotiate our working conditions with BSC managers. We were looking for a real voice in the workplace over the issues most important to us – like wages, hours, and working conditions. We wanted fairness to be the rule, not the exception, and to have real protections on the job. During the two years leading up to the vote, management spent millions of dollars on their anti-union effort. This made it impossible for us to have an election free from intimidation and harassment. Unfortunately, their efforts prevailed and on February 15, 2017, many workers who had expressed interest in forming a union changed their minds. For months we were bombarded with scare tactics and promises from management things would be better. Unfortunately, it didn’t happen. On May 31, 2018, our co-workers on the flight line voted overwhelmingly for IAM representation. The majority of the flight line workers have been in unions and understand the value, benefits, and protections that come with collective bargaining. Sadly, Boeing used its political influence and power to strip those workers of their right to collective bargaining. Working people across the country are organizing like never before. They are mobilizing for a better life and gaining a better return on their work through collective bargaining. Don’t we deserve the same?