The first examples of electronic authorization card collection site by union are beginning to appear on-line following the recent announcement by the National Labor Relations Board that they would begin accepting electronic signatures for purposes of filing for a union election. Links where employees can sign electronic cards like the one depicted here are showing up in print media, as well as online via websites and links on social media, including Facebook.
Before directing employees to its electronic form (screenshot above), on its website, the Machinists union shares the following message:
From the privacy of your home or handheld device, you can choose to join your co-workers in supporting the current organizing campaign…. for all workers.The same legal protections that apply to hard copy cards also apply to electronic authorization cards– No employer has the authority or privilege to see these cards. Please read the comment below from the NLRB General Counsel:
OFFICE OF THE GENERAL COUNSEL MEMORANDUM GC 15-08 ELECTRONIC SIGNATURES
“This policy enables the Board to expeditiously determine whether representation proceedings are warranted and to do so in a manner, that to the maximum extent possible, preserves the secrecy of the individual employees’ views”.
Authorization cards are used to show support for the union and to petition the National Labor Relations Board for a representation election. Until the new NLRB rules were issued on September 1, 2015, employees typically signed paper cards. Whether this turns out to be an effective strategy remains to be seen, but we will surely see more examples of this in the future.