Rights and Benefits
Your Weingarten Rights
Employee’s Right to Union Representation
The rights of unionized employees to have present a union representative during investigatory interviews were announced by the U.S. Supreme Court in a 1975 case (NLRB vs. Weingarten, Inc. 420 U.S. 251, 88 LRRM 2689). These rights have become known as the Weingarten rights.
Employees have Weingarten rights only during investigatory interviews. An investigatory interview occurs when a supervisor questions an employee to obtain information which could be used as a basis for discipline or asks an employee to defend his or her conduct.
If an employee has a reasonable belief that discipline or other adverse consequences may result from what he or she says, the employee has the right to request union representation. Management is not required to inform the employee of his/her Weingarten rights; it is the employees responsibility to know and request.
When the employee makes the request for a union representative to be present management has three options:
- it can stop questioning until the representative arrives.
- it can call off the interview or,
- it can tell the employee that it will call off the interview unless the employee voluntarily gives up his/her rights to a union representative (an option the emplovee should always refuse.)
Employers will often assert that the only role of a union representative in an investigatory interview is to observe the discussion. The Supreme Court, however, clearly acknowledges a representative’s right to assist and counsel workers during the interview.
The Supreme Court has also ruled that during an investigatory interview management must inform the union representative of the subject of the interrogation. The representative must also be allowed to speak privately with the employee before the interview. During the questioning, the representative can interrupt to clarify a question or to object to confusing or intimidating tactics.
While the interview is in progress the representative can not tell the employee what to say but he may advise them on how to answer a question. At the end of the interview the union representative can add information to support the employee’s case.
If you have any questions, be sure to contact your union officer.
Benefits for ATU members
The following benefits have been made available through the Amalgamated Transit Union. Additional information may be obtained on these various programs by contacting your local union officers or the International office at:Amalgamated Transit Union, AFL-CIO/CLC
10000 New Hampshire Avenue
Silver Spring, MD 20903
GRIEVANCE HANDLING: The ATU represents its bargaining unit employees in disputes with their employers in matters of discipline or unfair treatment on the job. The Union regularly secures back pay awards for employees who have been unjustly fired from their jobs. Well-trained local union officers help ensure our contracts are faithfully implemented and our bargaining units’ rights are protected.
IN TRANSIT MAGAZINE: The ATU distributes a bi-monthly magazine, In Transit, an official publication which provides important information about the Union and related events in Congress, Parliament, and the transit industry.
ATU DISPATCH: The ATU sends out a weekly e-newsletter, the ATU Dispatch, on the latest ATU, and industry news, legislative and political information and other important issues in the U.S., Canada, and the world to keep members updated and informed so that they can take action to protect and extend the rights of working people in the U.S. and Canada.
TRAINING AND EDUCATION: The ATU is at the forefront of the Labor Movement in terms of training and education in both the U.S. and Canada. Innovative education programs are regularly offered on a wide variety of issues including rider coalition building, community and political action, arbitration techniques, collective bargaining, local union financial administration, grievance administration, leadership training for officers, organizing, health and safety, and women’s issues – as well as legislative and political programs.
GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS: The ATU International maintains a full-time legislative program, which, in conjunction with local unions and members, lobbies Congress and state legislatures to promote the interests of our members.
ATU-COPE: The ATU conducts yearly nationwide fundraising to support its ATU Committee on Political Education, which makes contributions on a bi-partisan basis to the campaigns of local and national candidates for public office in the U.S. who are supportive of our values on labor and transportation issues.
ORGANIZING PROGRAM: The ATU has full-time organizers on its staff who respond to requests from those interested in organizing their workplace.
SUBSTANCE ABUSE PROGRAM: The ATU makes available its own publications informing affected employees of drug and alcohol testing requirements in the U.S. and Canada.
FUNERAL BENEFITS: The ATU maintains a historic funeral benefit program to help with funeral expenses.
ATU SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM: The ATU offers an annual scholarship competition to union members and their dependents in order to further the education of those who have an active awareness of union issues. Apply here.
ATU MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS RESEARCH FUNDS: The ATU conducts annual fundraising drives in the U.S. and Canada to fund research to combat the disease of multiple sclerosis.
UNION PLUS BENEFITS
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