For more than 100 years, America’s unions have been fighting for and protecting the rights of workers in their workplaces and communities. Joining a union means being part of a movement that puts working families first, and part of a family that looks out for each other.

In New Jersey, our 1.1 million members work in hospitals, government offices, restaurants, nursing homes, and manufacturing plants, and on construction sites, trains, buses and airplanes. They are security guards, cooks, nurses, engineers, electricians, plumbers, musicians, postal workers, janitors, and more.

Even Albert Einstein was a union member. As a founding member of Princeton Federation of Teachers Local 552, he said: "I consider it important, indeed urgently necessary, for intellectual workers to get together, both to protect their own economic status and, also, generally speaking, to secure their influence in the political field."

As a union member, you have people available to you at all times to help you fight for better wages, safer working conditions, and better benefits for you and your family. As a union member, you have the right to bargain collectively, ensuring that you and your coworkers are treated equally and fairly. As a union member, you have the knowledge that you are making a real difference for your colleagues at your workplace and for your neighbors in your community.

Form a Union

Organizing your fellow workers and forming a union isn’t hard. Actually, it’s as easy at one, two, three!

  1. Know your rights. Federal and state laws guarantee the right to form unions! Employees have the right to express their views on unions, to talk with their co-workers about their interest in forming a union, to wear union buttons, to attend union meetings and -- in many other ways -- to exercise their constitutional rights to freedom of speech and freedom of association. However, many employers may resist organizing efforts -- so, before you start talking union where you work, get in touch with a union that will help you organize. (Note: Supervisors and a few other kinds of employees customarily are excluded from coverage; for more information, see specific laws covering your position or contact a union organizer.)
  2. Find Out Which Union is Right for You. To form a union on the job, you will need the assistance of the union you are seeking to join. If you don't already know which union is most able to help you, find out more about the unions affiliated with the New Jersey State AFL-CIO. If you are unable to determine which of these unions is right for you, contact us or call us toll-free at 1-866-OK-UNION (1-866-658-6466) and let us know the type of work you do, the number of employees at your worksite and its location, and we'll help you out. All information provided will be strictly confidential.
  3. Get in Touch with a Union Organizer. Once you know what union you want to join, an organizer from that union will help you in your efforts to gain recognition for you and your coworkers. To get in touch with a union organizer, contact the union with which you want to affiliate.

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National Labor Relations Board