Rhode Island Unions: What you need to know

The state has relatively little say in the regulation of labor unions. This is because most of the protections given to labor organizations are contained in the federalNational Labor Relations Act (NLRA),. This law is “preemptive,” meaning that it overrides state law in the areas it covers, which include almost all types of private employment. States are free, however, to make their own provisions in the areas not regulated by the NLRA, such as the rights of public employees and the rights of private employees who are not engaged in interstate commerce.
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The Rhode Island State Labor Relations Act supplements the NLRA. The Act recognizes the necessity of workers to have freedom of association, liberty of contract, and bargaining power equal to that of their employers. As such, the Act extends certain rights to workers not covered by federal law . This Act covers all employers, but it excludes agricultural and domestic employees, workers employed only for the duration of a labor dispute, individuals working for a parent or spouse, and individuals covered by the NLRA. The Act also regulates union recognition, unfair labor practices, collective bargaining, and strikes (RI Gen. Laws Sec. 28-7-1et seq.).
The Act specifically guarantees to workers the rights of self-organization, to form, join, or assist a labor organization, to bargain collectively through a representative of their own choosing, and to engage in concerted activity for the purpose of collective bargaining or other mutual protection free from interference, restraint, or coercion.
The Act preserves the right to strike.
It is illegal for employers to engage in ...

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