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Representation Procedures

The NLRA provides formal processes for designation and recognition of bargaining units. State statutes include similar provisions. When disputes arise with respect to union representation, many states direct parties to resolve these disputes with the public employment relations board in that state. Once employees organize bargaining units, members may file a petition with the appropriate labor board. The labor board will generally determine that jurisdiction over the bargaining unit is appropriate, that the proposed bargaining unit it appropriate, and that a majority of employees approve the bargaining unit through an election. Statutory provisions and other rules generally ensure that the votes are uncoerced and otherwise fair. After this election, the labor board will certify the union as the exclusive representative of the bargaining unit. Once a union is certified, usually for a one-year period, neither employees nor another union may petition for a new election.

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