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Joseph
Joseph, Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 5132
Experience:  Extensive experience representing employees and management
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RE: Unite Here Local 2850 in California, and RIM Hospitality

Customer Question

RE: Unite Here Local 2850 in California, and RIM Hospitality our employer.

Hello,

I was told that there is a 90 day period prior to a collective bargaining contract signing that employees can vote to remove the union, decertify. We recently had a new contract signed and no one told us about this opportunity. Whose responsibility is it to inform the union members of this opportunity? The union also denied the majority of workers in our hotel about the actual vote for the contract. The union only targeted the housekeeping department who for the most part only speaks Spanish. All other departments were not notified of such a vote.

Thank You
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: California Employment Law
Expert:  Joseph replied 1 year ago.
Hello and welcome to JustAnswer.

I'm sorry to hear about your situation and hope I can help.

My goal is to provide you with excellent service today.

Can you tell me how long the union has been representing you and other employees of RIM Hospitality?

Also, do you know if a desertification petition was filed prior to the signing of the collective bargaining agreement?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Joseph,

The Union has been there to the best of my knowledge since 2002. I have been there since December of 2010.

We were never presented with a desertification petition. That is what angers so many of us. We found out about that opportunity after the contract was signed. We never saw a contract to review and most of us did not know about the actual vote for the contract unless we were working that day.

Thanks
Expert:  Joseph replied 1 year ago.
Thanks for the additional information. So, to your knowledge, no one ever circulated a desertification petition? I'll get back to you shortly, thanks.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
correct. I have asked our union rep and she acted as if she did not know what I was talking about
Expert:  Joseph replied 1 year ago.
I'm afraid that there's good reason why your union representative didn't know what you were talking about.

You were misinformed and/or there was some misunderstanding as far as what was communicated to you.

There is no automatic right or opportunity to vote your union out 90 days before a new CBA is initiated or 90 days before one expires.

And a union is definitely not obligated to create and circulate a desertification petition for itself. In order for a desertification election to be held, the workers need to create and circulate a desertification petition and get at least 30% of the union member employees to sign onto it. This can only be done in certain rare instances (windows), and one of those is 60-90 days before a collective bargaining agreement expires, which is the reference to 90 days that prompted the misunderstanding.

Then, an election would be held based on a majority vote. A union can be decertified within 60-90 days before a collective bargaining agreement expires (otherwise it has immunity during the first three years of a BA). Otherwise, at that time, a union would not be effective at collective bargaining if it is unsure of its status as a representative of the employees after that time.

However, it is the employees' responsibility to create, get signatures, and file the documents. Also, the collective bargaining agreements are available to union members, so you should be able to determine when you can file a desertification petition.

If you are unhappy with the union and you and your fellow workers want to get a desertification petition, you are free to do so, but you (and/or your fellow workers) have to create it, get the signatures, and file it. (The union certainly has no duty to see to its own demise).

For more information see here:

http://www.nrtw.org/decertification-election

I realize the above information is not what you wanted to hear and I sincerely XXXXX XXXXX had better news to give you, but I hope you appreciate an honest and direct answer to your question. It would be unprofessional of me and unfair to you to provide you with anything less.

Thanks and best of luck!
Expert:  Joseph replied 1 year ago.
Hello,

Please let me know if you have any follow up or clarifying questions regarding the above.

If not, please remember to rate my answer positively so I get credit for my work!

Thanks and best of luck!
Joseph, Lawyer
Satisfied Customers: 5132
Experience: Extensive experience representing employees and management
Joseph and other California Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok Thanks Joseph,

It seems that we are stuck ina perpetual loop. It is a bit shocking that we as "workers"
aka human beings have to impower ouselves in legal matters after the fact when it is too late. Shameful. I very much appreciate your answer and advice. I will forward it to my fellow humans.
Expert:  Joseph replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your positive rating of my service,. It has been my pleasure to assist you and I hope than you will ask for me on JustAnswer should you have future legal questions.

Please request me directly by placing “to Joseph” at the beginning of your question and/or requesting me directly in California Employment Law.
When you receive your Customer Satisfaction Survey from JustAnswer, please do rate me highly (9-10) there as well. It benefits my ability to assist you and other customers, and would be tremendously appreciated.

Thanks again and best of luck,

Joseph

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