Manufacturing, Telephone, Service And Public Employee Membership

Join IBEW Local 363 by calling (845) 783-3500

Q: How do I become a member and organize the Company that I am working for?

A: The FIRST STEP IS TO CONTACT US! IBEW Local 363 can organize ANY EMPLOYER or CONTRACTOR! Begin by calling us at (845) 783-3500 and make a direct contact with any Union Representative or Organizer. You can also email any of us at our emails which are listed here.

You can feel confident in knowing that when you contact us – it is held in the strictest confidence and NO EMPLOYER will be told of that contact. The most important part at this stage is for US to have a way to communicate with YOU and YOUR CO-WORKERS – so we will need an email for you or a contact number to get things going.


For now, read the information below to get a basic knowledge and understanding about your rights and about becoming a union member of IBEW Local 363!

IBEW Local Union 363 believes in that simple premise that the unionization of workers is a social and economic necessity.

“Long ago we stated the reason for labor organizations. We said that they were organized out of the necessities of the situation; that a single employee was helpless in dealing with an employer; that he was dependent ordinarily on his daily wage for the maintenance of himself and family; that if the employer refused to pay him the wages that he thought fair, he was nevertheless unable to leave the employer and resist arbitrary and unfair treatment; that union was essential to give laborers opportunity to deal on equality with their employer.”

Chief Justice Charles Evan Hughes, of the Supreme Court of the U.S.

Q: What is a union?

A: A union is a group of workers who join together to achieve better wages, better benefits, respect on the job, and a stronger voice in workplace decisions. With the help of a union, workers negotiate a contract with their employer to ensure these things.

Without a union, employers have 100% control over its employees and complete authority to make all decisions. Unions give employees some of this control to make their workplace better. A union’s major goal is to give workers a voice on the job for respect, safety, security, better pay and benefits, and other improvements to working conditions.


The Mission Of IBEW Local 363


When our IBEW union founders gathered a century ago, they embraced a vision of building a strong, national union. They fully understood that the key to union strength is organizing and defined the Brotherhood’s mission:

“To organize all workers in the entire electrical industry… into local unions.”

The I.B.E.W. Local 363 ORGANIZING PROGRAM is designed to help workers

IN EVERY INDUSTRY to be able to work under a written contract and to build their bargaining strength with their employer. The interests of ALL of our members are best served by an aggressive organizing program, but we also understand that an effective organizing program requires a supportive and active membership.

Non-union employees can become union members in various ways, such as:

  • By you and/or other employees contacting a Local 363 organizer and signing union authorization cards, then filing an election petition with the National Labor Relation Board. Winning an election for union representation gives you, as well as all the employees, and the union the right to bargain for a union contract.



Union Authorization Card


If you are interested in joining IBEW Local Union 363 and/or would like to organize the contractor you are currently working for, please complete the authorization card below and mail to:

Sam Fratto
IBEW Local Union 363
67 Commerce Drive South
Harriman, N.Y. 10926


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IBEW - The Right Choice!


Legal Binding Contract.
A contract outlining wages, benefits, hours and working conditions that is enforceable in Federal Court.

Guaranteed Seniority Rights.
Such as, job bidding, recall from layoff and vacation accumulation.

Grievance Procedure.
A fair, proven means of solving problems between workers and management.

No Worker Can Be Fired or Disciplined Without Just Cause.

Paid Holidays For Workers.
Guaranteed by a contract that is supported by members.

Guaranteed Annual Wage Increase.
A contract can guarantee a raise in pay every year for the life of the agreement.

Fair Treatment.
A contract protects all workers regardless of their ethnic origin, gender or other differences.

Medical and Life Insurance.
A contract can guarantee that you will be covered by medical and life insurance for the term of the agreement.


Working Without A Union Contract


Company Handbook.
Not a legal binding agreement. Merely a guide, at best it can be changed at the whim of the company.

Without a union contract, you have no guaranteed seniority rights.

Open Door Policy.
If you have a problem, tell the boss and cross your fingers. Without a contract, you could be fired for complaining!

Any worker, can be fired at any time!
Without just cause or reason.

Any paid holidays you now enjoy could be taken away at any time.
No contract - No idea of what may happen.

Wage Increase.
Many nonunion workers have gone years without a wage increase. The typical nonunion shop receives 30% less than their union counterparts.

Unfair Treatment and Favoritism.
Almost always reigns supreme in a nonunion shop.

Without a negotiated contract guaranteeing your insurance benefits:
They can be changed or eliminated at any time without notification.


Working With An IBEW Contract!


A union contract is an agreement between the employer and the employees (us). It sets the wages that will be paid for each job. It lists the holidays and the terms of vacation. It guarantees such things as insurance and pensions. It sets up a system of seniority and provides an orderly plan for settlement of complaints or grievances.

The contract also provides for such things as sick leave, jury duty, funeral leave, military service, hours of work, overtime, safety regulations, conditions of employment and benefits we shall receive.

Union contracts are alike in principle but they vary from plant to plant to suit both local conditions and the desires of the employees.


With A Union You Have Rights


When your employer buys a product, he strikes a bargain with the seller. He may make an offer, but the selling price isn’t necessarily the same as either the offering price or the asking price.

That’s the way U.S. business is conducted. Nobody finds anything wrong with bargaining over the price. It’s different only when it comes to your wages and working conditions, unless you have a union.

WITHOUT A UNION, the employer sets the wage because the average worker is in no position to do anything about it. Alone, you have no bargaining power.

What’s true about wages is equally true of other benefits and working conditions. Without a union, the employer decides on holiday pay, vacations, medical and sickness benefits, and even whether your length of service on the job counts.

WITHOUT A UNION, you can complain about unfair treatment, but the boss doesn’t have to do anything about it. He can even fire you for complaining.

FAIR PLAY is the American way and Federal Law recognizes that your best chance of getting a fair bargain is by forming a union.


WITH A UNION, the employer must bargain and pay the wages negotiated.

WITH A UNION, your rights on the job are spelled out and must be respected.

WITH A UNION, you can stop abuses on the job. The union can prevent unfair treatment. It gives you representation on the job and the right to file grievances if you are treated unfairly.

WITH A UNION, you can negotiate for better wages, holiday pay, vacations, health and pension benefits, and job conditions.

WITH A UNION, you have greater security on your job. The employer can’t fire you without good reason and he must respect your length of service if there are layoffs.

But it’s up to you to make a bargain. Bargaining will work for you if you want it to work.

The union is your bargaining agent. Your dues are nominal and the returns are great. Your membership is a bargain in any person’s language.

Paying dues is like paying premiums on an insurance policy – where you don’t have to die to have it pay off. You collect the benefits everyday of your working life.



Frequently Asked Questions


Q: How does the union work?

A: A union is a democratic organization of a majority of employees in a facility. The basic idea of a union is that by joining together with fellow employees to form a union, workers have a greater ability to improve conditions at the worksite. In other words, “In unity there is strength.”

Q: What will be in our contract?

A: It is for the union employees to decide what to negotiate for. Your co-workers are already talking about many issues that are important to them at union meetings. After you win union recognition, you will select a negotiating committee from among your co-workers. Then, with the assistance of union negotiators, the committee will sit down with management to negotiate a contract.

The law says that both sides must bargain “in good faith” to reach an agreement on wages, benefits, and working conditions. The contract will only take effect after it is approved (ratified) by a majority of the workers.

It is not possible to know exactly what will be in the first contract. Our goal will be to win improvements with each contract.

Q: Who runs the union?

A: The union is democratic organization run by the members. Members elect the local officers. You vote on issues of importance to you. You vote on your contract. Union members elect delegates to national conventions, where delegates elect national officers and vote on major issues affecting the union, such as constitutional amendments. The union is the people themselves.

Q: Won’t it cost the company a lot of money if the union comes in?

A: In the short run, it’s true that union cost employers more in terms of and benefits.

But in the long run, that doesn’t necessarily hurt the employer. Many unions are good for the employers as well as for the workers.

The reason is simple. With a union there is higher morale, and there is a mechanism for workers to have a voice in how the workplace operates.

Satisfied employees are more productive, and less likely to quit, so there is less turnover. Also management benefits when it gets input from the workers on how the operation could be run better.

Q: Can I be fired for participating in the campaign?

A: First of all, the law prohibits any employer from discriminating against people in any way because of their union activity. If an employer does harass or discriminate against a union supporter, the union files a charge with the Labor Board, and prosecutes employer to the fullest extent.

The best safeguard against the employer harassing anyone is for everybody to stick together and win their union. Without a union, management has a free hand to treat people as they please. But with a union everyone has the protection of a union contract.

Q: What can the union do about favoritism?

A: Fairness is the most important part of the union contract. The same rules apply to everyone. If any worker feels that he or she is not being treated fairly, then he or she still has the opportunity to complain to the supervisor, just like before. But under a union contract, the supervisor or manager no longer hast the final say. They are no longer judge and jury. If the worker is not satisfied with the response of the supervisor, the workers can file a grievance.

The first step of a grievance procedure is for the steward to accompany the worker to try to work it out with the supervisor. If the worker is not satisfied, the steward and the employee, with help from the union business manager, can bring the grievance to higher management. If the complaint is not resolved, then the issue can be placed before an outside neutral judge called an arbitrator.

Q: Management is hinting that we could lose the benefits we now have. Is that true?

A: The purpose of forming a union is to win improvements in wages and benefits, not to loose them. We start with what we have and go up. On average, unionized workers earn a third more than nonunion workers in wages and benefits. Occasionally in organized facilities, workers agree to grant concession to aid an ailing company, but this comes after years of winning improvements.

The employees vote on whether or not to accept a contract. Would you vote to accept a contract that took away your benefits? Think about it. If having a union meant that the employer could reduce your benefits, why would the employer be fighting the union so hard?

Besides, it is against the law for the employer to retaliate against the union by taking away wages or benefits.

Q: What about all those meetings we’re having where management talks about the union being bad and corrupt?

A: The employer would like you to think that unions are corrupt. The truth is that unions are decent honest organizations dedicated to improving the lives of working people.

Nothing is perfect, and there have been examples of union officials who have not been honest. But the same is true of government officials and business leaders. There can be a few bad apples in any group of people.

Telling you not vote for a union because there have been some corrupt officials is like telling you never to work for a company because a company officials has been corrupt.

Q: The employer says that union can’t guarantee us anything. Can you?

A: The union can guarantee that when workers stick together as a union they have more bargaining power and more of a voice than they do as individuals.

When the union wins, you will negotiate a contract with the employer. We can make no promises on what the contract will contain. That is for you to decide when you vote on your contract. We can guarantee that the contract will be legally binding, and the union will make sure the contract is enforced.

Q: Management says that the union is just after our dues money. Why should we pay money to the union?

A: Dues are used to run your union and keep it strong. The dues are divided between the local union and the international union. The money is used to provide expert services to your local union, including negotiators, lawyers, economists, and educators; to pay the salaries of officers and staff, including organizers; to provide newsletter and conferences. The local union’s money is used for reimbursing stewards for lost time, for the union hall, and for other expenses of your union.

Did you know that the employer also pays dues to organizations? Employers have their own organizations, such as the Chambers of Commerce or the National Association of Manufacturers. They pay for representation, why shouldn’t you?

Besides, since when is the company so concerned about your money?

Q: How much are Union Dues?

A: The dues will depend upon what the local needs to operate efficiently and effectively. However, the dues will be set by you, as a local union, with the exception of the International portion of the dues, which is set and voted on by all local unions at the International Convention every (5) years. However, no dues are paid until the majority of workers vote to accept a contract that helped to negotiate. All initiations fees will be waived for members in newly organized units.

Q: What if management hints there will be a strike if we organize?

A: Management talks a lot about strikes during an organizing drive. Did they tell you that over 98% of union contracts are settled without a strike? There could only be a strike if the employees vote for the strike. And it’s only smart to vote for a strike if you know you can win. The employer doesn’t want a strike anymore than the workers do, so everyone has an incentive to reach a compromise during bargaining.

Unions have developed a lot of other tactics that can put pressure on management to reach a fair agreement. For example, unions use boycotts or corporate campaigns or community support, rather than necessarily having to resort to striking.

Q: How do we go about forming a union here?

A: We’ve already taken the important first step in forming a union. We’ve formed a voluntary organizing committee of which many of you are members. This committee was formed to investigate and to inform of the ways that a union may help us. We’ve held meetings to inform other employees as to what their rights are now and the rights they gain by forming a union.

Now it’s all up to us to vote Union and to ask others to vote for their future by VOTING UNION.

Q: What does signing the authorization card mean?

A: It means you want the union. The card is a commitment of support. And, it gives us the legal support for an open and free union election.


Workers Have Rights


This is the law: our right to bargain collectively

Section 7 (U.S. Code title 29, Chapter 7, & 157)

“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…”

What This Means To Employees

  • It means that employees have the legal right to help organize, to join and to support a union of their own choosing. This includes such activities as signing a union card, getting others to sign cards, attending union meetings, wearing union buttons, passing out union literature and talking union to other employees.
  • It means that employees have the legal right to deal with their employer as a group, rather than individually.
  • It gives employees the legal right to take such group action as they feel necessary in order to achieve their desired goals so long as these actions violate no other laws.

When and Where Your Rights to “Talk Union” Are Protected

If you follow these simple guidelines, you will be well within your legal rights:

  • You may discuss union activity with your co-workers during any non-work time.
  • In general, if you would be allowed to discuss the football game or what was on TV last night, you can also talk about the union. “Non-work time” includes: 1. lunch, 2. breaks, 3. after hours.
  • You may discuss union activity with your co-workers in both work and non-work areas, as along as it is during the non-work time.
  • You may solicit signatures from your co-workers on union cards in both work and non-work areas, as long as it is during the non-work time.

Where and When You May Distribute Union Literature

  • You may distribute union literature during non-work time (see above).
  • You may distribute union literature only in non-work areas. “Non-work areas” are areas not related to production, such as 1. break rooms, 2. locker rooms, 3. coffee machine areas, 4. company parking lots.

While it is important to remember that we have the right to organize without interference from the company, companies often interfere and get away with it during election campaigns. That’s why it is important to work with an IBEW representative to make sure that the laws are enforced.


How Do I Vote For A Union?


NLRB Election

Section 9 of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) requires that 30% of the employees sign cards authorizing the union to represent them before the union can ask for recognition from the company.

  1. When a majority of cards (65% of the employees) have been secured, the IBEW will ask the company to recognize your union. (Even though the law requires 30%, we think it is wise not to ask for recognition with less than 65%. We don’t want to waste your time or our time if we don’t think we can be successful.)
  2. If the company should refuse such recognition, the cards may then be taken to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) where the union files a petition for an election.
  3. The Board then sets a date when you vote – by secret ballot – for the union.
  4. You vote, in secret, “Yes” for union representation, and “No” for no union representation.
  5. A simple majority wins.
  6. The Board then certifies the union – and soon thereafter contract negotiations begin with your employer for higher wages, job security and – improved working conditions.


What is the IBEW? The Facts:


We hear a lot about the Union. Just what is it?

The IBEW, or International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, is a non-profit labor organization, as defined in the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act. Basically, the IBEW is an organization of workers with common concerns and aspirations.

One of the goals of the organization is to “cultivate feelings of friendship among those in our industry.” This means the IBEW’s goal is to maintain a friendly but firm relationship with employers employing IBEW members. The process of industrial democracy achieves the goals of the members who make up the IBEW.

What is Industrial Democracy?

The IBEW believes employees of a company can only realize their workplace goals and aspirations if they institute democracy in the workplace. Without a union, employees effectively work under an industrial dictatorship. Employees have little or no say in their terms and conditions of employment. With a union, employees empower themselves by forming an organization to balance the goals of the employer with the goals of employees. Employees then can speak with one strong voice to address their issues and concerns with management. Therefore, industrial democracy is the right of workers to form or assist labor organizations which can better their working lives.

Does the IBEW have other goals?

Yes. The IBEW strives to promote community activities by its members. We all know that by working together, we can accomplish what we cannot accomplish alone. The IBEW serves as a vehicle to bring together people of many talents to achieve service to the community and mankind. Together, we all add to the organization.

We hear a lot of bad things about unions by management. Is there a bad side to union organization?

There can be. Just as in any organization, if the members don't participate in the process and direct their organization the way they want it, the organization will fail to represent the interests of the members. Some unions do have these problems. However, all unions are not the same. The IBEW is founded on the principle of local union autonomy. Each local union is independent and functions as a single, independent unit. In this way, the members of the union are responsible for their own successes and destiny. The International Union exists solely to assist the local union when asked. This formula has proven highly successful. IBEW has a proven track record of being an effective advocate for employee interests, because employees direct the efforts of the IBEW.

How many members are in the IBEW?

The IBEW represents nearly 725,000 members in all branches of the electrical industry, including employees of electrical construction, telecommunications, electric, gas, and water utilities, broadcasting, government employees, and manufacturing.

What kind of relationship does the IBEW have with these employers?

In the vast majority of cases, the IBEW has good relationships with its employers. The IBEW knows progress can be achieved by working together with management, and this can only occur if the power between management and the workers is relatively balanced. The IBEW has numerous partnerships and affiliations with employer associations. The investor-owned utility LAMPAC, or Labor-Management Public Affairs Committee, composed of utility executives and IBEW members, meets twice a year to work on legislative issues, which affect utilities and their employees. IBEW and the Edison Electric Institute, an association of investor-owned utilities, jointly sponsor LAMPAC. Other utility working relationships include and the National Rural Electric Cooperatives Association. Telecommunications working relationships include the National Telephone Cooperatives Association and NACTEL. Manufacturing partnerships include the Committee to Protect American Color Television Industry (COMPACT), the Manufacturing Skills Standards Committee, and ETOP. In the construction industry, the IBEW has partnered with the National Electrical Contractors Association in many endeavors to benefit the industry.

The IBEW exists solely to represent the interests of workers in the electrical industry. It is an organization of workers for workers.


Unions and You...The Facts


Do Unions limit my ability to function in the workplace?

No. In fact, unions enhance the ability of employees to be productive in the workplace by eliminating dissention between workers and management. With a union, workers are provided a vehicle to address their concerns about work issues. Without a union, employees are limited in effectiveness to what the employer believes the employees need to perform the job effectively and safely.

Does the union limit my individual ability to communicate with management?

No. Unions encourage communication between individual workers and their supervisors. In fact, unions provide the ability of workers to speak to supervisors or managers about a problem without fear of repercussion, since union members enjoy legal protections under their contracts and national labor laws.

Does the union limit the ability of workers as a group to communicate with management?

No, it increases that ability. Workers and management can only work together if workers have the power and ability to address concerns as equals. Without that power and ability, the employer has no obligation to address employee concerns and needs.

Does the union provide a vehicle for communication between employees?

Yes, most definitely. Unions exist for the sole purpose of worker advocacy. Workers helping workers. If workers form a union and band together, they begin to discuss among themselves their needs in the workplace. A union allows these workers to meet with management as a group to address changes.

What if I don’t agree with the majority of my fellow workers?

Each worker in a union has the right and obligation to express his or her point of view on a subject. Union members are encouraged to speak out to address their concerns. Many ideas contribute to a more intelligent solution of a problem. Unions are fully democratic organizations. Just as in any democracy, there will be persons who don’t agree with the majority on certain issues. A union promotes the idea of a voice and dignity for all. Unlike unorganized workplaces, unions have room for many differing viewpoints and ideas, and all viewpoints and ideas are heard. Members then act upon the debate, by making up their own minds and voting.

Unions protect the rights and dignity of the individual through the collective efforts of all.


The National Labor Relations Act… The Facts


National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), is the federal law enacted by the United States Congress in July 1935 to govern the labor management relations of business firms engaged in interstate commerce. The act is generally known as the Wagner Act, after Senator Robert R. Wagner of New York.

Provisions of the Act. The general objective of the act is to guarantee to employees “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 concerted activities for the purpose of collective bargaining or other mutual aid and protection.” To safeguard these rights and to ensure the orderly exercise of them, the act created the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), which, among other powers, has the authority to prevent employers from engaging in certain specified unfair labor practices.

Examples of such practices are acts of interference, restraint, or coercion upon employees with respect to their right to organize and bargain collectively; domination of or interference with the formation or administration of any labor organization, or the contribution of financial or other support thereto; discrimination in regard to hiring or dismissal of employees or to any term or condition of employment, in order to encourage or discourage membership in any labor organization; discrimination against any employee for filing charges or giving testimony under the provisions of the act; and refusal to bargain collectively with the representative chosen by a majority of employees in a bargaining unit deemed appropriate by the NLRB.

History After Passage. Before the enactment of the NLRA, the federal government had refrained almost entirely from supporting collective bargaining over wages and working conditions and from facilitating the growth of trade unions. The new law, which was proposed and enacted with the firm support of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, marked a significant reversal of this attitude. First the American Federation of Labor and later the Congress of Industrial Organizations took advantage of governmental encouragement by carrying out nationwide organizational campaigns. Largely as a result of such efforts, the number of organized workers rose from about 3.5 million in 1935 to about 15 million in 1947.

Taft Hartley Act. In 1947 the attitude of the government and particularly of the Congress, then dominated by a Republican majority, underwent another change and sought to curb the power of organized labor. The change was indicated by the passage of the Labor Management Relations Act of 1947, introduced in the Senate by Robert Taft of Ohio and in the House by Fred Hartley of New Jersey, and known as the Taft Hartley Act. This law embodied a series of amendments to the NLRA. It excluded supervisory employees from the benefits and protection of the NLRA and prohibited the states from extending such benefits to supervisory employees. It emphasized the right of all employees not to join a union and not to participate in collective action. It forbade the negotiation of any closed shop agreement between employers and employees and permitted a union shop agreement of a limited type only if authorized by state law and voted upon by a majority of the employees in a secret ballot election. When an employer or employees desire to terminate or modify an existing collective bargaining agreement, the act required that due notice of such intent be given and that a waiting period of specified length be observed. It permitted employers as well as employees to petition the NLRB for the holding of elections to determine the collective bargaining representative of the employees. It required labor unions desiring to use the facilities of the NLRB to file certain organizational and financial data with the NLRB, and it required the officers of such unions to file affidavits certifying that they are not members of the Communist party. It enumerated a group of unfair labor practices and empowered the NLRB to secure injunctions restraining labor unions from the performance of such practices. It also enlarged the board from the original three to five members.

Among the practices engaged in by labor unions that the act classified as unfair either to employers or to employees are the use of restraint or coercion upon employees in the exercise of their rights to organize and bargain collectively or to refrain from any or all such activities, and upon an employer in the choice of a bargaining representative; causing or attempting to cause an employer to discriminate against an employee because of membership or lack of membership in a labor union except under a duly authorized union shop agreement; refusal on the part of a labor union representing any group of employees to bargain collectively with their employer; requiring employees covered by a duly authorized union shop agreement to pay initiation fees that the NLRB finds excessive or discriminatory; causing or attempting to cause any employer to pay money or other thing of value for services not performed or not to be performed; and engaging in or inducing or encouraging the employees of any employer to engage in a strike or similar action for the purpose of achieving certain specified aims deemed unfair to employers. The Taft Hartley Act also prohibited the check off of union dues without the written consent of employees; contributions by employers to union health and welfare funds not under joint labor management administration; and contributions and expenditures by unions in connection with federal elections, primaries, and conventions. It provided further that anyone whose business or property is injured by a strike or stoppage for a purpose unlawful under the Taft Hartley Act may sue for damages in the federal or state courts.

Labor Opposition to Taft Hartley Act. The enactment of the Labor Management Relations Act of 1947 precipitated a fierce controversy between its opponents, who claimed that the act was designed to paralyze and eventually destroy the labor movement, and its adherents, who contended that the act was essential in order to preserve a proper balance between the powers of labor and those of management. Although the act did not destroy the labor movement, some unions claimed that Section 14(b), permitting a right to work law, impeded the organization of unions in states that enacted such legislation.

In 1951 Congress repealed the provision prohibiting any union shop agreement unless authorized by a majority of the employees in a secret ballot election. A new provision was substituted allowing such agreements to come into force without approval of the employees, but giving employees the right to petition the NLRB for a secret ballot election to rescind the union's power to institute a union shop agreement.

In 1959 amendments to the Taft Hartley Act banned the secondary boycott, a union agreement not to deal with nonunion shops or handle nonunion goods, and restricted picketing. Such picketing was forbidden if a valid collective bargaining agreement was in effect with another union, if an election had been held within the preceding 12 months to ascertain union representation, or if after 30 days the union did not file for an election to determine representation.

In the 1970s the act was expanded to include employees of the U.S. Postal Service, private health care facilities, colleges and universities, and law firms, among others. Expanded jurisdiction has brought the act's protection to workers who otherwise would not have such rights.