"If this discussion could in any way lead to my being disciplined or terminated I respectfully request that my steward be present at the meeting. Without representation present, I choose not to respond to any questions or statements
Know your rights: The Right to Representation
If you are ever called into an interview meeting with your supervisor or manager so they can investigate a situation which might result in discipline, you have specific representational rights. These rights are summarized below:
- You have the right to have a Union representative present.
- If you want a Union representative there, you must ask for him or her.
- If you do not know why your manager wants to meet with you, ask him/her if it is a meeting that could result in a discipline.
- If your manager refuses to allow you to bring a Union representative, repeat your request in front of a witness. Do not refuse to attend the meeting, but do not answer any questions either. Take notes. Once the meeting is over call your Union representative at once.
- You have the right to speak privately with your Union representative before the meeting and during the meeting.
- Your Union representative has the right to play an active role in the meeting. She or he is not just a witness.
These rights are called "Weingarten Rights" based on a 1975 Supreme Court decision (NLRB vs. J. Weingarten). As with all rights, if we do not use them we lose them.
Union members earn better wages and benefits than workers who aren’t union members. On average, union workers’ wages are 29 percent higher than their nonunion counterparts. While only 16 percent of nonunion workers have guaranteed pensions, fully 73 percent of union workers do. More than 9 out of 10 union workers have jobs that provide health insurance benefits, but fewer than 7 out of 10 nonunion workers do. Unions help employers create a more stable, productive workforce—where workers have a say in improving their jobs.