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Union Organizing and Speech

Learn how the NLRA regulates employer and union speech during organizing campaigns.


Both employers and unions engage in multiple different types of speech in the context of union organizing. To balance free-speech protections with the goal of ensuring fair union elections, NLRA § 8(c) states that speech is lawful unless it contains:

  • a threat of reprisal or force, or
  • the promise of a benefit.

29 U.S.C. § 158(c).

I. Threats

The NLRA prohibits coercive or threatening speech. Here are some examples.

A union was attempting to organize an automobile manufacturer’s workforce. Maria, the...