Employee Relations Tip Of The Month

Em-Power To The People!

Work is most motivating to employees when they have a say in determining how it gets done. Besides being more motivating, it’s also more developmental for employees when they are allowed to bring their own experience and expertise to bear on a situation.

When employees are clear about the goal and desired results you’re after, you’ll get their best thinking and effort by empowering them with the autonomy and authority to decide how to achieve it. As the 28th U.S. President, Woodrow Wilson, once said, “I not only use all the brains I have, but all I can borrow.”

Here are some specific actions you can take now to increase engagement by providing your employees with greater autonomy and authority:

1. Identify a project to delegate to members of your team. Meet with these individuals and communicate what you expect from them. For example, what does

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Fact or Fantasy?

John McElroy, pundit for the auto industry, has an interesting piece about the chances of the United Auto Workers (UAW) to overcome decades of declining membership. Among some of the facts in the article:

• The UAW currently has 350,000 active members and 600,000 retirees (wow – how will  they continue to fund those pension/retirement/health benefits?). • The UAW will not grow substantially without organizing foreign automakers and parts suppliers. • The UAW now faces competition from other unions for auto industry workers (Teamsters, Steelworkers, and Electrical Workers have all entered the fray). • The UAW (and all of Big Labor) has a friend in the White House.

Among those items bordering on wishful thinking:

• The UAW will experience some growth simply because the American auto industry is currently operating at the lowest levels ever, and an economic

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Organizing Tactics Never Die

…they just change with the times. In many of our interviews with former union organizers, one of the chief tactics that many of them used during card signing campaigns was the use of a survey or poll, asking employees what things they would “change” about their jobs. The tactic is a subtle attempt to make the employees believe that they will have more say in the collective bargaining process than is ever actually the case, and is just one more deception on the part of union organizers.

The Transport Workers Union has moved this tactic online during their recent organizing campaign for Virgin America flight attendants. The tactic is skillfully executed, and should be studied so proper counter-strategies can be designed during an organizing campaign. Take a few minutes to check out the link.

12 Union Myths Exposed

In our final installment of The Cato Journal’s January 2010 “Are unions good for America?” issue, we cover the twelfth myth.

Here is The Homeland Stupidity web site’s synopsis of this myth, and a link to each of the 12 Cato articles.

Myth Number Twelve: Unions currently operate in a free market.

Fact: Unions are heavily dependent on the government to provide them unfair leverage over employers and control over their members. It is possible for unions to exist and provide valuable services to their members in a market free of government-sponsored violence and control, but those services would likely have to be geared toward helping employees improve themselves, rather than extracting undeserved compensation from employers.

Charles W. Baird, professor emeritus of economics at California State University, East Bay, examines what constitutes a free market, how existing labor

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SEIU Update

Wilhelm says no deal with SEIU

It appeared that “settlement” talks between SEIU and UNITE HERE were rolling toward a conclusion, with SEIU reportedly offering cash and real estate in an attempt to placate UNITE HERE for SEIU’s aggressive take over attempt under former head Andy Stern. The offer was SEIU’s attempt to earn its way back into the good graces of the labor movement.

However, John Wilhelm, head of UNITE HERE, promptly issued a statement on the heels of this report, “There is no agreement with SEIU, despite rumors to the contrary. While we continue to talk, and make some progress, difficult issues remain unresolved.”

Wilhelm appears willing to fight a protracted war, much to the chagrin of Mary Kay Henry, who

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Card Check Cannibals

I had to “steal” the title for this post directly from the author, as the analogy was just too good. Let me quote directly several passages of this lucidly written editorial by Tim Nerenz, Ph.D.:

Like many people, I oppose unions on principle. That principle is: never negotiate the dinner menu with cannibals.

American workers overwhelmingly reject unionism. According to a 2010 study by university researchers Barry Hirsch and David Macpherson, only 7.2% of private sector workers belonged to unions in 2009. 93% prefer to work union-free.

But union bosses, like socialists everywhere, do not recognize the will of the people; they claim to embody the will of the people.

Unions protect incompetents from the consequences of their own actions, and force those consequences onto others – observe the Milwaukee Public Schools and General Motors. Individualism breeds exceptionalism, and exceptionalism is intolerable to the union collectivist.

Under Card

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EFCA Update

Enthusiasm does not seem to be dissipating on either side of the EFCA struggle. The Big Labor/Dem camp had to duck hard as a national campaign strategist prophesied the loss of the House in the upcoming elections, inspiring incentive for pushing labor-agenda bills through the lame-duck Congress later this year.

Big Labor has been flexing its muscle with expanding use of shareholder resolutions, and it is expected to continue with such assaults, especially as a fall-back tactic if an EFCA-type bill fails to pass Congress. The latest “financial reform” bill added additional strength to their ability to wield this weapon by making it easier for unions to put their representatives on the boards of corporations across the country. And don’t rule out the use of “snap elections,” especially if the NLRB continues down the road

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Unions Hit the Self-Destruct Button

Libertarian blogger Tim Nerenz had a couple of interesting posts on unions. The first deals with how unions are putting their own selfish needs above those of the country (again…) in the Gulf. Foreign oil-cleanup vessels have cleaned up massive spills like the one in the Gulf without any oil reaching shore using technology and equipment that is sitting around idle as we speak. The excuse being used is the Jones Act, protectionist legislation designed to prevent foreign competition in US waters. Unions engage in this kind of self-destructive behavior almost by reflex. As Tim says in another interesting post on the Employee Free Choice Act the best cannibal in the tribe is the last one to die of starvation. So be careful the next time a union organizer asks you to pass the plate…

“QSR Companies Are Sitting Ducks”

The May 21, 2010 issue of The Journal Record (Oklahoma business journal) featured an interview with Phil Wilson, President of LRI, about the vulnerability of QSR businesses (quick service, or “fast food,” restaurants) to union organizing drives. Wilson believes these businesses could be a looming target for unions, especially the member-bleeding SEIU. “QSR companies are sitting ducks, and they better prepare immediately for a rapidly changing labor environment,” Phil stated. Phil referenced a leaked December 2009 document suggesting the SEIU planned to penetrate the fast-food sector, generally the arena of the United Food & Commercial Workers. The motivation arises from the fact that QSR businesses cannot move their jobs overseas to evade union encroachment.

Wilson warned that large, well-known chains provide highly visible targets for aggressive national public-relations assaults, known in the labor relations world as corporate

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YouTube Video: Their Governor

Check out this YouTube video covering: Their Governor.

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Watch this and others on our union video YouTube channel.