Take Action to Win Changes

Using our legal rights to demand and win improvements—now.

Get in touch with us to plan out your course of action. Check out these important resources to get you ready for it and what comes next.

What is 'Concerted Activity'?

The National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) gives workers the right to take action to demand improvements at work when you take it together with others. The law calls it “concerted activity.” If a boss retaliates against you by cutting your hours, disciplining you, or firing you for taking that action, you can file an Unfair Labor Practice (ULP). These are a few examples.

Surveys and Petitions

They get people focused on the issues the union exists to fix. They are great ‘structure tests’ of where your union is weak and where it is strong. If someone's not ready to put their name on a petition, they're not ready to take riskier action- yet!

Wear Union T-Shirts or Buttons Together

This SHOWS you how strong the union is. It takes courage to put on a union button or t-shirt at work!

March on the Boss

It’s extremely powerful to briefly walk off the floor as a group during business hours and request a change right then and there. Brief work stoppages are protected forms of concerted activity, so long as they do not repeat consistently, especially over the same issue.

Handbilling

Public support is a great ally for shopfloor strength. It can boost workers’ morale. It can raise the threat of more intense actions that threaten the bottom line like a boycott.

Rally or Picket

Great way to show determination, build public support and keep momentum up.

Strike

Withholding your labor. Involves major preparation! You should look for Unfair Labor Practice charges to file against the management before you go on strike. In an Unfair Labor Practice charge strike, the employer cannot hire permanent replacements (scabs).

Check out workers who have taken actions like these:

Chicago teachers made Friday their ‘wear red’ days, and each week they could track how many workers supported their organizing. Read more

A group of Starbucks workers presented a petition with demands in a brief, noisy protest.

 

A small group of Target workers went out on a brief strike to protest the company’s retention of an abusive manager. Later, they organized a wider sick-out to protest unsafe conditions during COVID. 

Target workers and supporters protest lack of PPE and other safety issues.

Speaking Truth Together at a Union Busting Meeting

@d.a.r.y.l.2.0 #Amazon #union busting Good on these people standing up for their right to organize #solidarity #labor #MACChallengeAccepted ♬ original sound - D.A.R.Y.L.2.0

Check out our list of more tactics you can use to take protected concerted activity. 

Union Busting and ULPs

  1. Making policies that take away your rights to concerted activity. For instance, if your boss demands you and your co-workers not discuss wages but you are allowed to discuss non-work matters, that’s grounds to file an Unfair Labor Practice charge.
  2. Retaliating or discriminating against someone who participates in concerted activity. Documenting the activity is very important to prove that the boss’s action is linked to your asserting your rights.
  3. Discriminating against someone for filing a complaint with the NLRB.
  4. Remember “TIPS”– all of these are ULPs once you’re public about being a union.
      • -Threats
      • -Interrogation – they can’t ask you or your co-workers about your support for a union or about union activities.
      • -Promises – they can’t promise you changes in exchange for dropping your union activity or support.
      • -Surveillance/Spying

NLRB link to fill in a pdf of your charge. You don’t need to go into detail (see below)

Send the charge to your Regional Office of the NLRB. You can locate yours here. Place a call with the office so they know it’s coming and to make sure it meets their specifications.

Always assume the owners will try to bust your union. Be ready. When workers go public with their demands for improvements, union busters try to change the subject away from your needs as a person. They try to create these feelings among co-workers: 

  1. Fear – you could lose your job/benefits/conditions you like!
  2. Guilt – why are you doing this to ME?
  3. Confusion – do you really know what a union will mean?
  4. Division – this union is only for some workers.
  5. Futility – it won’t change anything here.

Union busters will play “good cop/bad cop,” or offer “the carrot and the stick.” They’ll try to make things better for some people and worse for others to split up workers involved in the union.