Labor Unions in California

Labor unions simply comprise working people who stand together. They do so to bargain with employers for improved pay, benefits, and allowances. Labor unions also enable working people to compel employers to provide a safe and conducive work environment. In essence, such unions provide employees with a mechanism to put employers in check.


Federal and state laws in California guarantee the right to form unions. It, therefore, means
that eligible working people are entitled to the right to:

Offer their opinions or views regarding unions.
Engage their colleagues about their interest to form a union.
Participate in union meetings
Adorn union buttons
Exercise their freedom of association and freedom of speech as spelled out in the constitution.



Frequently asked questions about labor unions

Under what circumstances can employers violate union laws?

There are several circumstances that employers can violate the law such as:

Threatening to sack employees for joining a union.
Threatening to close a company when employees choose a union to represent them.
Assigning employees to complex tasks due to their involvement in union activities.
Terminating or punishing employees due to their participation in an NLRB (National Labor Relations Board) led the investigation.


What criteria is used to determine “good faith” bargaining?

“Good faith” bargaining is the obligation to actively and sincerely participate in
discussions to come up with a platform to reach an agreement and a common ground.

In assessing if parties involved are bargaining in good faith, NLRB considers if the party shows the willingness to meet at reasonable times and intervals. Plus, the party has a representative who is capable of making decisions during negotiations.


Are there rules that guide collective bargaining for a contract?

When employees decide to use a union as their bargaining representative, bargaining in good faith between the union and the employer must be done.

It is inappropriate for either party to refuse to engage in collective bargaining. But either party is not compelled to reach an agreement.

If numerous good faith efforts do not yield an agreement, then the employer can declare a standoff and present the last offer proposed to a union.


What regulations govern union dues?

Basically, the federal and state laws and court rulings dictate the number of union dues collected from working people represented by unions.


What categories of working people constitute unions today?

Currently, people from diverse professional fields are joining unions. They include engineers, doctors and nurses, auto parts workers and home health care aides.


Have labor unions accomplished anything for working people in California?

Unions have continuously advocated for the rights of California employees. Union contracts persuade employers to offer employees better pay and working conditions.