Bargaining in support of organizing only works if collective bargaining agreements contain strong, protective language. Two key clauses are the 9(a) and traveling contractors.
Many BAC Locals have already converted their agreements to 9(a) status, but there are still agreements containing the 8(f) language. It’s important to convert agreements to 9(a) status because agreements that contain the 9(a) language help Locals retain members and signatory contractors.
While 9(a) and 8(f) language both deal with union recognition - the Union’s right to represent the workers covered by the collective bargaining agreement - 9(a) language offers a far greater level of protection for BAC Locals and members. The 9(a) language requires the signatory contractor to bargain in good faith with BAC for a successor agreement, and restricts other unions from trying to organize workers covered by the agreement. In contrast, agreements containing the 8(f) language have no safeguards. Once a collective bargaining agreement containing the 8(f) language expires, the signatory contractor is free to walk away from the agreement. Even during the term of the agreement, the Local is vulnerable to have to prove through a National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) representation election that it has the support of the majority of the employer’s workforce.
The key to acquiring 9(a) status is gathering signed authorization cards from all members and any employees not yet members. Once the cards are signed by a majority of the contractor’s employees:
It’s also important to use the 9(a) language recommended by the IU. This language has been updated to address the tests used by the NLRB in making their decision in the case of Staunton Fuel & Material Inc. All Locals should have this 9(a) language in their collective bargaining agreements.
The IU’s Collective Bargaining Department also has detailed procedures for converting 8(f) agreements to 9(a) agreements, as well as other model collective bargaining agreement language.
The traveling contractors clause in collective bargaining agreements helps to organize non-union workers, keep BAC members working, and maintain and expand BAC’s share of the market. If your agreement does not contain this clause, effort should be made to include it in all agreements. If your agreement(s) already include this clause, at the first opportunity, make sure it contains the current language.
For additional help, contact:
Collective Bargaining Services
620 F Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20004