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An authorization card is a document that an employee signs so that the union can become their bargaining agent. So basically it is a legal binding document between an employee and the union that authorizes union to do negotiations on the employee’s behalf. According to USlegal.com (n.d.), the union can use the authorization card in differently in different circumstances depending on the number of employees signed the card, for instance:
1. If 30% of the employees sign the card, then the union can file a petition for election
2. If 50% of the employees sign the card, then the employer has to directly recognize the union as the negotiation agent without an election.
3. If more than 50% of the employees sign the card, then the union has the right to ask the Labor Board to issue employer orders to recognize them without election, in case of unfair practices.
I work for a manufacturing firm and I know how important unions are to protect the rights of the employees. For instance, right now we are running two shifts and the production throughput is equivalent to just one shift. The directors of the plant decided to shut down one shift completely so that money can be saved on electricity and all other overhead expenses in running a shift. But the Union did not agree to this decision as they wanted to protect their union workers from laying off. As a result, it was decided that the two shifts would work as usual. But there are few risks of the union too such as they can go on strike anytime, employee loses their right to speak with the management directly, also the flexibility of scheduling or working under a desired manager becomes difficult. Therefore, employees should clear all these concerns before opting or signing for authorization card. And once an authorization card is signed by the employee then negotiations, bargaining, settlement of grievance is all taken care by the union instead of the employee (Neils, 2017).
USLegal. (n.d.). Authorization Card Law and Legal Definition. Retrieved from https://definitions.uslegal.com/a/authorization-card/
Neils, K. (2017). Questions about signing a Union Authorization Card. Retrieved from https://www.unh.edu/unhtoday/2017/01/questions-about-signing-union-authorization-card