Organizing a Union at your Workplace

A Union is usually the only way workers can improve their wages, benefits, and working conditions. Union workers earn approximately 30 percent more money than non-union workers and approximately 44 percent more when you include the total compensation of health care and other benefits.

Organizing a Union, or organizing more workers to join an existing Union, strengthens your voice when negotiating with your company. Local 342 provides the representation and the strength that you and your co-workers need to get the wages, benefits and conditions you deserve.

Every organizing effort is unique, so when you and your coworkers decide to organize and become part of UFCW Local 342, we will work with you to develop a program that is especially tailored to you and your workplace goals.

The Local 342 Organizing Department would be happy to talk with you about any issues you and your co-workers are facing at work. These conversations are strictly confidential and you are under no obligation of any kind to join our Union.

Although every organizing effort is unique, many Unions begin with the following four steps:

1. Contact UFCW Local 342 to help you form a Union

If you are wondering what it might take to get a Union at your place of work, contact us at (866) 802-4994. We’ve helped organize workers in many industries all over New York and New Jersey so we can answer your questions and help you make a plan to get a Union at your company.

Once you’ve contacted us, a Union Representative will follow up with you and other coworkers who might be interested in forming a Union. The Union Representative will listen to your concerns and help you make a plan for organizing a Union. Your conversations with Local 342 Representatives will be kept confidential.

2. Talk with your coworkers about the benefits of a Union

Talk to your coworkers to explain how a Union can help everyone address problems on the job. It is important to remind them that there is strength in numbers and that, with the increased power and protection a Union brings, employees can negotiate for a contract that provides higher wages, better scheduling, more benefits, overtime pay, safer conditions and more. To form a Union, you’ll need a majority of employees to agree... talking can be a great way to build support.

This is often the stage when management begins to figure out that their employees want to join a Union. Employers might resort to illegal or coercive tactics to prevent a Union from forming. You can read more about common employer tactics on our Obstacles and Challenges page. It is important to remember that the law protects your right to form or join a union and employer retaliation is against the law.

3. Encourage your coworkers to officially endorse a Union

With the support of Local 342 and other organizers in your company, you’ll work on getting a majority of your coworkers to fill out official cards or petitions that indicate they would like to form a Union. This process might involve letters or leaflets that are handed out to employees, meetings with Union representatives, and more.

4. Vote Yes to officially become a Union

After a certain period of time, an official vote will happen. All eligible employees will vote on a ballot whether to join together and form a Union or not. If a majority of employees vote Yes on the ballot, the Union becomes official.

Once the Union is official, Local 342 will work with you and your co-workers to negotiate with management for a new contract based on your goals and priorities. Read more about the benefits of a Union, or you can contact us to ask questions or get started at your workplace.