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Start a Union at Your Workplace

Workers need fair treatment today as much as ever. With most of the economic benefits of our economy going to corporate America, working people are using the power of collective action to get their fair share. Workers never gained anything without uniting for it.

40 hour work week
Sick leave
Employer-paid healthcare
Grievance procedure
Safety and health protections
Paid vacation
Higher wages
Fairness in promotions

Just think of what you and your co-workers may be able to win with a union contract.

Your Right to Form a Union

Your right to form a union in your workplace is protected by the National Labor Relations Act and you can start a union at almost any company as long as you and your coworkers decide your job would be better with a union to back you up. However, the act specifically excludes individuals who are:

  • Employed by federal, state or local government.
  • Employed as agricultural laborers.
  • Employed in the domestic service of any person or family in a home.
  • Employed by a parent or spouse.
  • Employed as an independent contractor.
  • Employed as a supervisor (supervisors who have been discriminated against for refusing to violate the NLRA may be covered).
  • Employed by an employer subject to the Railway Labor Act, such as railroads and airlines.
  • Employed by any other person who is not an employer as defined in the NLRA.

Know that it is ILLEGAL for your employer to:

  • threaten
  • discipline or,
  • fire you for any real or alleged union activity

Every conversation, email, text or note between you and the Union are 100% confidential.

Your employer CANNOT interfere with an organizing drive nor can they change any of the conditions of work (i.e. wages) once the union has filed an application for representation with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).

Remember, some organizing drives won’t take long but some can takes months. The more united you and your coworkers are, the easier and quicker the organizing drive.

How Do You Form a Union?

Step 1

Bring together a small group of co-workers (the organizing committee) who will educate co-workers on the benefits of a union.

Step 2

Once the committee establishes a majority of co-workers support a union in the workplace, a union is notified and membership/authorization cards are signed.

Step 3

The membership/authorization cards are used to petition the NLRB to hold an official election.

Step 4

A secret ballot election is held in which workers can vote for union representation.

Step 5

When a majority vote yes for union representation, the employer must legally recognize the union and negotiate, in good faith, a union contract.

Step 6

Once a contract is agreed upon by both the employer and union, it is then presented to the employees to vote on!

I wish more people understood that the union is made up of its members. The union belongs to us. The members give the union strength.

Linda, Kroger 607

I joined the union because I wanted to stand together with my fellow workers and use our collective power to defend our rights and get better treatment in the workplace.

Keith, Kroger 325

I’ve been a union member for 13 years and what I like about being a union member is if I have any questions or need help on the job the union is always willing to help me out.

Ernest, Wayne-Sanderson Farms

Benefits of Joining the Union

Job Security

UFCW455 members have just cause protections, meaning you cannot be unjustly fired or disciplined. Your employer must prove they have just cause to take such actions and if you are to be wrongfully terminated the union will fight to get your job or missed pay back to you.


Your union membership means you will always have the union on your side. As a union member you have a right to union representation at any meeting you feel may lead to disciplinary action.

Better Pay

Union workers generally receive higher wages than non-union workers and receive guaranteed pay raises which are spelled out in their union contract.

Collective Bargaining

Union members have a voice and a vote in the benefits they receive in a union contract. Each new contract is ratified (voted on) by the union members.


Seniority gives workers a variety of special benefits such as wage scales, promotions and vacations based on years of service. Seniority rights help reduce favoritism in the workplace.

Grievance Procedure

Union workers have a right to grieve any event which directly violates their contractual rights. Whether it’s with regard to pay, benefits, harassment or unjust termination, your union will fight on your behalf.

The Union Difference


Employees that have formed a Union have a better standard of living.

Union workers’ median weekly earnings

Non-union workers’ median weekly earnings

Access to healthcare benefits

Union Workers


Non-Union Workers


Access to paid sick leave

Union Workers


Non-Union Workers


Access to defined retirement benefits

Union Workers


Non-Union Workers


1 U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, National Compensation Survey: Employee Benefits in the United States, March 2020.
2 U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Union Members 2018-2019, January 2020.

Are you ready to start a union?

Who We Represent

UFCW Local 455 represents working people in Southern Texas and the state of Louisiana. Our union organizes workers in the grocery, retail, warehousing, packing & processing, manufacturing, cosmetology and zoological industries. If you work in any of these industries and want to start a union in your workplace, let us know!

Do you work in another state or industry?

Contact UFCW Int'l

UFCW International represents workers in the United States (including Puerto Rico) and Canada. If you’re interested in forming a union in your workplace and not sure who to contact, click on the link below and a UFCW Int’l Organizer will help you find your local union.

Contact UFCW Int'l

Take the next step and contact a UFCW organizer. Fill out the form or contact us below.


We’ll immediately put you in touch with a union organizer who can talk to you about unions and what it takes to organize.




121 Northpoint Dr.
Houston, TX 77060
Main: (281) 448-5555
Fax: (281) 820-1217


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