April 12, 2024
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Weingarten Rights
Know Your Weingarten Rights

Weingarten Rights are based on a 1975 case in which the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that all workers have the right to union representation when a supervisor or boss asks for information that could be used as the basis for discipline. This decision gave workers and unions specific rights called Weingarten Rights (from the name of the case). All AFM members in your workplace should know about them.

A vital part of this to keep management or boss from intimidating workers—especially when a boss is trying to get a member to admit to wrongdoing. Weingarten Rights won’t help if workers don’t know about them, because the boss doesn’t have to tell them. If they answer the questions, they’ve given up their right to representation.

Stewards and leaders should make sure members understand that if any discussion with management or boss—from a closed-door meeting to a conversation with a supervisor on the job—could lead to the possibility of discipline, they should ask immediately for an AFM steward or local officer. The request can be made at any point.

Ideally, a member should say something like: “If this discussion could in any way lead to my being disciplined or terminated, or affect my personal working conditions, I request that my steward (or a union officer) be present. Without representation, I choose not to answer any questions. This is my legal right.

Anything close to this statement will do. Any further attempt by a supervisor or boss to ask questions is illegal until a steward or local officer arrives. If management or a boss denies a request for union representation, this is an unfair labor practice—and the member may refuse to answer any questions.

UE- United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America https://www.ueunion.org/stwd_wei.html 

The back of the new membership card design for AFM Local 433 features this useful summary.
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