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Your Right to Organize

If you aren’t receiving fair treatment and compensation at your job, you’re not alone. In fact, you’re far from it. Fortunately, the National Labor Relations Act gives you and your colleagues the power to organize and fight for better wages, hours, and working conditions. You have:

The right to meet with co-workers
The right to petition or leaflet
The right to organize a union
The right to picket
The right to strike

What Does the Law Require of Employers?

The National Labor Relations Act places the following requirements on Employers:
Employers may not interfere with efforts to organize a union, or punish employees who take part in organizing.
Employers must recognize unions chosen by a majority of employees.
Employers must bargain in good faith with unions about wages, hours and working conditions.

What Happens if the Employer Violates the Law?

Violations of the NLRA are unfair labor practices.
After a hearing, employers may be ordered to:
Reinstate employees discharged for taking part in concerted activities
Reimburse employees who lose pay or other benefits because of unfair labor practices
Bargain in good faith with unions


Legislative Advocacy

Public leaders and legislators make decisions every day that affect our jobs and our families. It isn’t enough to simply do the work; we must advocate for ourselves and for all working people at the highest levels.
Sign up now for our mobile alerts by texting  “SMW17” to 55222 so we can keep you up to date on important campaigns.

Protecting Prevailing Wage

Prevailing wage laws exist to protect workers from substandard wages and to uphold community standards.

In Massachusetts, there’s a loophole allowing non-union contractors to underbid on qualified prevailing wage projects, and pay workers less than the prevailing wage law requires, because the materials were produced off-site.

Local 17 is fighting to close this exploited loophole. We’re sponsoring legislation on Beacon Hill to ensure offsite prefabrication is subject to prevailing wage requirements. California and New Jersey have passed similar protections for their workers, and we’re urging Massachusetts lawmakers to do the same.

With your help, we can stop bad contractors from undercutting good ones.

Wage Theft

Left unchecked and under-enforced, the illegal practice of stealing workers’ wages has become a business-as-usual activity in the region. Due to insufficient resources to investigate violations and hold bad actors accountable, we find ourselves in a growing crisis. In Massachusetts alone, $700 million is stolen from workers every year. That’s why we’re calling on the state legislature to prioritize funding for additional enforcement staff in the Attorney General’s office in the next state budget.  

This hurts workers and it hurts our state’s bottom-line. Statewide, wage theft has resulted in a $13.5 million loss in annual tax revenue and a $280 million reduction in the GDP.  

To learn more about the wage theft campaign in Massachusetts, click here.


Who are my elected officials?

Sheet Metal Workers Local 17

1157 Adams Street

Dorchester, MA 02124

(617) 296-1680

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