Signed authorization cards generally have two uses:
- They are used by the union to obtain National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) general election to determine if the majority of employees want a union. If 30% or more of the employees sign authorization cards, the union can petition the NLRB for an election to determine if a majority of employees want a union.
- They are used by a union to demonstrate to management that a majority of the employees chose to have the union as their recognized bargaining agent. If 50% plus 1 of them employees sign the cards, the union can demand that the company recognize it as the exclusive bargaining representative of the employees. If recognition is granted, no election will be held.