How do you organize a union?

Identify at one employer the families of jobs that share similar pay, qualifications, working conditions and career paths. That's a natural bargaining unit. Know the EXACT number of employees in those jobs, including laidoff.

Contact all the employees - and none of the supervisors - in that group. The employer must give you home addresses and names on demand.

Convince the folks that union membership is a good idea. Get at least one-third to sign cards saying they want a union election. Show the cards to a rep from the NLRB. He will contact the employer to confirm whether it is a proper bargaining unit. If the show-of-interest cards are more than one-third of the unit, NLRB schedules an election.

Before the election you try to convince all unit employees that union is a good idea. The employer will campaign against you, pointing out to employees every time you exagreate or lie.

On election day, only employees in the unit are allowed by NLRB to vote. If one half plus one of those who vote - not the whole unit - vote union yes, the union wins.

If fewer vote union yes, the union loses and there cannot be another organizing vote for 12 months.