Council 65 - Minnesota, South Dakota and North Dakota

Know Your Rights

Your rights to join AFSCME, Minnesota Council 65 are protected under Minnesota law for public employees and Federal law for private sector employees.

You have the Right to:

•to form and join labor organizations;
•to organize fellow employees, support the union and distribute literature and membership cards to be signed;
•to participate in meetings to discuss joining a union;
•to distribute union flyers and brochures in non-work areas during breaks and lunch;
•to petition and join together with co-workers to protest unfair treatment or demand improvements in wages, hours or working conditions;
•to file complaints against your employer;
•to wear union buttons, stickers, T-shirts and hats;
•to vote by secret ballot election to designate a union to represent you and your coworkers to bargain grievance procedures and terms and conditions of employment; and to PELRA.

The above rights are spelled out in Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act


What your Employer cannot do:

•Your employer cannot favor employees who oppose the Union over ones who support it----this includes promotions and special treatment;
•Your employer cannot threaten to close your place of employment if you support joining a union;
•Your employer cannot threaten to take your way your wages and benefits if you support joining join a union;
•Your employer cannot promise you raises or other favors if you oppose joining a union;
The above limits on employer activity are spelled out Federal law Section 8(a) of the National Labor Relations Act


National Labor Relations Act


Section 1
"It is hereby declared to be the policy of the United States to eliminate the causes of certain substantial obstructions to the free flow of commerce and to mitigate and eliminate these obstructions when they have occurred by encouraging the practice and procedure of collective bargaining and by protecting the exercise by workers of full freedom of association, self organization, and designation of representatives of their own choosing, for the purpose of negotiating the terms and conditions of their employment or other mutual aid or protection."


Section 7
"Employees shall have the right to self organization, to form, join or assist labor organizations, to bargain collectively through representatives of their own choosing, and to engage in other concerted activities for the purpose of collective bargaining or other mutual aid or protection, and shall have the right to refrain from any or all of such activities except to the extent that such right may be affected by an agreement requiring membership in a labor organization as a condition of employment as authorized in section 8(a)3."


Section 8
"It shall be an unfair labor practice for an employer:
(1) To interfere with, restrain, or coerce employees in the exercise of rights guaranteed in Section 7.
(2) To dominate or interfere with the formation . . . of any labor organization . . .
(3) By discrimination in regard to hire or tenure of employment or any term or condition of employment, to encourage or discourage membership in any labor organization . . .
(4) To discharge or otherwise discriminate against an employee because he filed charges or given testimony under this Act.
(5) To refuse to bargain collectively with the representative of his employees . . .


Minnesota Statute 179A Public Employees Labor Relations Act (PELRA)


Minnesota public employees have a right to organize a union under laws that mirror much is what is in the Federal law. Minnesota law prohibits the employer from doing the following:

•Dominate or interfere with the formation, existence or administration of an union;
•Discriminate in regard to hire or tenure in order to discourage membership in a union;
•Discharge or discriminate against an employee because the employee has signed or filed an affidavit, petition, or complaint or given information or testimony (at a hearing or grievance hearing);
•Cannot refuse to meet with you and bargain in good faith;
•Cannot refuse to comply with the grievance procedures contained in a contract;



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