What is an authorization card?
A union authorization card is signed by an employee to indicate their desire to be represented by a union. The language on the card is specifically worded to comply with the National Labor Relations Act, the federal law that protects a worker’s right to unionize.
If I sign a card, what rights am I granting the union?
The card references Section 9(a) of the National Labor Relations Act, and authorizes the union to, in part, “…be the exclusive representatives of all the employees…for the purposes of collective bargaining in respect to rates of pay, wages, hours of employment, or other conditions of employment…” It goes on in detail, and you can read the entire Section 9(a) here, and the NLRA in its entirety here.
Did I already sign an authorization card?
You have the right to sign an authorization card with the IBEW even if in the past you signed an authorization or membership application with the Carpenters.
Why is the IBEW asking me to sign a card?
The IBEW’s founding principle was to organize and improve the working conditions of all employees working in the electrical industry. The IBEW remains committed to improving your wages and working conditions.
You didn’t want us before, why do you want us now?
Not true. We have met with your employers, some of them more than once, in an effort to convince them to voluntarily sign an agreement that would raise your wages and benefits up to the level established by the IBEW in St. Louis. Some have refused, but others have accepted; John Byrd, the former owner of Rice Electric & Equipment Company, remains with us as the owner of Nooter Corporation, and Keith Jamison, the owner of Warren County Electric, signed an agreement with the IBEW that provides their employees our regions highest wages and fringe benefits on every jobsite.
Have you talked to the St. Louis Carpenters’ Union?
Yes, many times. We reached out after our defeat of Prop A. We hoped this collective effort was a positive indication that there was a chance to reunite the Labor community in St. Louis. Recently we sat down and had a positive meeting with Gary Perinar of the Mid-America Regional Council. Time will tell if he is wiling to work with us to bring you into a Labor union dedicated to your industry.
What happens when I sign a card? Does signing a card guarantee I will get to choose my representative?
After you sign a card, we will immediately seal it inside a security envelope. If you decide to take advantage of the online form published on this site, we will follow up in person and, at your convenience, ask that you sign a printed card. If there is sufficient interest in IBEW representation, we will file a petition and the NLRB will begin working on an election agreement. Once an agreement is finalized an election will be scheduled and you will get to choose your representative.
Will you or the NLRB tell my employer, the Carpenters’ Union, or anyone that I signed a card?
NO! The only way anyone would ever know is if you told them.
Who will conduct the election? Will anyone know how I voted?
An agent of the NLRB will conduct a secret ballot election following strict guidelines designed to ensure fairness, access, and protection. No one will know your choice unless you tell them.
What happens if I choose the IBEW?
If we win the right to represent you, the NLRB will certify us as your exclusive representative for the minimum of one year and your employer will be required to meet and bargain in good faith during that time. It is the goal of the IBEW to raise your wages and working conditions to the same level that our members currently enjoy.
Will I immediately become a member of the IBEW?
No, only after we reach an agreement with your employer that is acceptable to you.
If the IBEW wins, what happens to the wages and benefits I am earning now?
The law requires your employer to maintain the “status-quo”, which means your current wages, benefits, and working conditions, while the parties’ bargain.
Will they come after me for my scholarship loan agreement?
The St. Louis Carpenters’ Union cannot retaliate because you exercised your right to better union representation.
It all sounds pretty simple, is it?
Each organizing campaign is different. Some are easy and some are difficult. We will promise you this: The IBEW was created over 128 years ago in St. Louis for the purpose of improving the wages and working conditions of tradesmen and women in the electrical industry. We remain committed to our founding principle. (Watch the story of our founding).
YOUR COMMENTS – OUR RESPONSES
The company will find out I signed a card!
Talk to your former coworkers about us – you can trust us to keep your information confidential. Many of you have told us that you would choose the IBEW if given a choice. By signing a card, we can help you get your choice.
I’ve never missed a day, if I go to the IBEW I will sit the bench!
Once you become familiar with our exclusive referral system you will love it. The IBEW Local 1 has over 150 signatory employers and only represents electrical workers. You want to work on big jobs? Small ones? Industrial? Commercial? Service work? In 2022, over 200 non-resident electrical workers migrated to support the manpower needs of PayneCrest Electric Company during the holiday shutdown at the General Motors Assembly Plant in Wentzville, and many continue to help Local 1 meet the workforce needs of our regions largest projects, like MLS Stadium and NGA. Our exclusive referral system is a job placement program for our journey-level electricians and our graduating apprentices – we do not abandon our apprentices; you will never have to solicit your own job.
I tried to get in the IBEW, they didn’t want me!
Many electricians have applied for our apprenticeship program at some point in their career. Regretfully, we must limit the size of each new apprenticeship class based on the electrical construction market in an effort to ensure every apprentice and journeyman can make a career with the IBEW. We understand and admire the grit and determination required to attain journey-level skills without the benefits of the IBEW and will always work to help you, regardless of any decision you may make now or in the future to exercise your federally protected right to choose IBEW representation. As more skilled electrical workers join us, the IBEW’s share of the market increases and results in more opportunities for future applicants to our apprenticeship program.
You’re forcing my owner to do something they don’t want to do!
Ask yourself these questions: Were you really given a choice when your employer affiliated with the Carpenters’ Union? Were you “expected” to agree with your employer’s choice for YOUR representation? Will your employer voluntarily raise your wages and benefits up to the standards set by the IBEW? Why not? Will they voluntarily provide you with world class training? How many of you have walked into your employer’s office and demanded more compensation? How is that different from working together to raise up everyone?
Download the ‘Employee Rights under the National Labor Relations Act’ poster.