As a Union member, you are guaranteed certain workplace rights under federal law. Knowing your Union rights can help you be a more effective Union member and may even save your job.
Weingarten Rights allow us, as a Union, to stand together to protect one another. If you are ever called into a discussion that you’re afraid could lead to being disciplined or terminated all you have to do is ask whether you need Union representation. This provides you with protection and means you don’t have to answer any questions until you have UFCW representation with you.
If you have any doubt at all about what’s happening at work, never take a meeting or answer any questions unless you’ve said something to invoke your Weingarten Rights.
The full text of your Weingarten Rights appears on the back of your Union Rep’s card:
If this discussion could in any way lead to my being disciplined or terminated, or affect my personal working conditions, I request that my union representative or shop steward be present at this meeting. Without representation, I choose not to answer any questions.
Alternatively, just say anything like, “Do I need my Union Rep here?” Anything invoking the Rights works the same way as reading the Rights in full. Just remember to say something along these lines.
Wear a Button
Your right to wear a union button is protected union activity under federal law.
Sign a Petition
It is your right to engage in union activity, like signing petitions in your workplace, as long as the time and place is reasonable.
Read, Distribute, Discuss Union Literature
Given that the time and place is reasonable, you have the right to read, distribute, and discuss union signs, handouts, or other union literature in your workplace.
Talk About Negotiations
When you are allowed to talk about any other non-work related topics at work, you have the right to talk about negotiations or other union activities with your co-workers. If customers ask you about negotiations you are allowed to answer questions.
Take Actions Outside Of Your Workplace
You can participate in actions in front of your workplace and engage with the community when you are off the clock.
It is illegal for your employer to discipline you for participating in protected union activities. Your employer cannot cut your hours, reassign you, or otherwise retaliate against you for your participation.
Comply first, call later. If a manager tells you to do something that you believe violates your union rights, do what they say. Then, call your Union Rep as soon as possible. Your union will protect your rights.