Compulsory Unionism for Private-Sector Employees

The purpose of this section is to describe how a labor union organizes employees of a private-sector business under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) and to explain the legal rights and responsibilities of employers, employees, and unions during each step of this process, including during strikes.

The interpretive decisions regarding the NLRA by both the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and the courts are voluminous and complex; consequently, what follows is only a brief overview of the law. Individual employees should conduct further research and consult other resources before making important employment decisions about unionization or seeking remedies for employer or union labor law violations.

Employees, especially those unfamiliar with unions, should also ask penetrating questions of any union attempting to organize their workplace until they are satisfied that they understand all the consequences—legal and financial—of union representation.