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Organizing Rights Under the Railway Labor Act

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Know Your Rights When Organizing An Employer Covered by the Railway Labor Act!

Under the RLA, an employer is prevented from:

  • Surveillance of organizing activities
  • Threatening to sue in an effort to suppress support
  • Terminating/disciplining or threatening to terminate/discipline employees for supporting the union
  • Barring employees from soliciting cards or membership during non-work time and in non-work areas as long as the Company does not have a specific and non-discriminatory policy banning all solicitation (a non-work area generally includes break rooms, crew lounges, anywhere where work is not performed)
  • Asking about confidential union matters (i.e. whether or not the employee signed a card)
  • Asking about whether the employee supports the union
  • Threatening to discontinue existing benefits
  • Promising to give employees promotions, raises, or other benefits in exchange for voting against the union
  • Endorsing one Union over another
  • Preventing an employee from voting
  • Knowing how the employee voted
  • Prohibiting an employee to wear his pin on the job as long as it does not contain a controversial statement or violate company policy or uniform requirements
  • Preventing an employee from handing out leaflets on his own time in non-work areas
  • Preventing an employee from discussing the prospect of a union while at work as long as it does not interfere with work duties (contrast this with how an employee should only hand out representation cards during non-work time in non-work areas)

45 U.S.C. § 152 (Third), (Fourth); 29 C.F.R. § 1205.2