1) The NLRB is the independent federal agency that enforces labor laws in the private sector. Once sufficient interest has been indicated by the employees (usually by signing union authorization cards), the NLRB conducts elections to determine what union, if any, will represent the employees in collective bargaining. The NLRB also decertifies unions that employees no longer wish to have represent them, issues labor regulations, hears unfair labor practice cases at the agency level, and otherwise administers the NLRA.
Employees may unionize either by signing a sufficient number of authorization cards, by voting in a union during a union representation election, or, in some cases, by the NLRB ordering the employer to bargain with a union. NLRB (The National Labor Relations Board) supervises the union election and certifies the results. The employer cannot interfere in any way with the employees' efforts to form a union.
An interesting phenomenon in the past decade or so has been the unionization or attempted unionization of groups traditionally nonunion.
For instance, since the early 1990s, registered nurses across the country have been seeking to unionize and have been doing so in record numbers. Before that time, nurses had considered unions to be for blue-collar workers, while nurses were considered professionals. One of the first projects President Clinton undertook when he came into office was to ask his wife, Hillary Rodham Clinton, to head up efforts to make health care more accessible and affordable to all. The health industry's response was unprecedented restructuring, and the resulting downsizing, among other things, displaced registered nurses. Registered nurses' perception of unions as being only for blue-collar workers changed, and they began to seek a collective voice purportedly to protect their profession and patient safety.
2) At times, management and labor may differ on whether a particular matter...