Get Ready for an Election

A union election should make it easy for people to exercise their rights and speak freely. Unfortunately, people who are organizing a union have to do it in an environment where their employer’s opinion (instead of their own) about what they should do often dominates.

know the rules of the game

Know the rules of the game early on for the National Labor Relations Board or other board elections. This will tell you who can form a union, what's considered fair play and what paperwork to file to get a union election.

PDF icon Basics on Bargaining Units PDF icon(Spanish version)
PDF icon How to File a Petition for Election

Stick to What Works

Plan ahead and learn from others’ experiencesKeep the leadership committee and message up front. Once you have something that motivates and inspires people, keep it up!


Start early to prepare for the opposition you will face, accept that some people will oppose your efforts and focus on the majority of people who are trying to make a positive change.

PDF icon What Will My Boss Say? PDF icon(Spanish version)
PDF iconOrganize for Power! Neutralize Anti-Union Messages

prepare for success

Inspire people and show them how we are going to win. Focusing on the next step after the election can help motivate people and remind them why they are doing this. One way to do this is to start talking about priorities for negotiations.

PDF icon Use a Survey to Build the Union

have A PLAN

Have a plan for the election. We’re in this together. Make sure people know how to vote, where and when.

PDF icon You've Got an Election Date, Now What?
PDF icon Election Details: Questions to Ask


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