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INK: September 24, 2009

inkquill22 Labor Relations INK

Download a PDF of this issue with links here.

In This Issue:

• EFCA Update • Turmoil Behind the Scenes • Divisive Rhetoric • PLUS September Scoreboard, Employee Relations Tip-Of-The-Month, and more…

View the web-based version of this newsletter (including pictures and graphics) by visiting:


EFCA Update

efca_now“I would just caution you to not take great comfort in the current eye of the storm and recognize that the Category Five is still forming.” Marriott Executive VP David Rodriquez warned American businesses not to be lulled into a false sense of security as the debate over health care reform has stolen the public stage. Rodriquez referred to the Employee Free Choice Act,

Continue reading INK: September 24, 2009

Employee Engagement: Voodoo or To Do


Is this tree healthy? How can you tell?

Is employee engagement just another management fad? That was the question asked in an interesting blog post by Bret Simmons that I ran across last week called “Engagement Soup.” Since I’ve helped many companies transform their work environment over the years I certainly count myself in the camp of folks who believe that employee engagement works. But the post does make some interesting points.

First Bret takes a Business Week article to task for making the claim that the Gallup Q12 questions measure engagement or predict financial performance. Then he goes on to state his general skepticism of engagement research. Brett says:

Here are a few examples of effect indicators of engagement: I am immersed in my work; when I get up in

Continue reading Employee Engagement: Voodoo or “To Do”?


I love that show Mythbusters. I guess any guy who remains as mature as a 14 years old – like me – probably does. What’s better than watching a bunch of pyromaniacs take on myths like, “can playing your stereo too loud cause loaded AK-47’s in the back seat of your car to spontaneously start firing” (turns out that it can’t).

Yesterday we released our latest White Paper “IS THERE A TARGET ON MY BACK? Myths and Best Practices in Assessing Vulnerability to Union Organizing” where we do our own brand of mythbusting. You can download your copy by clicking here.

In our latest white paper we attack some of the most basic myths about how unions target a group of employees, and explain how the conventional “wisdom” about vulnerability assessment is completely wrong. Taking what we know from dealing with union organizing campaigns, there are a number

Continue reading Mythbusting

Watch What You Say

Guest Post by Al Lucia

It’s a basic principle of life that you should do the things you say you will do. But often when we commit to doing something, we speak in general terms. Speaking in generalities can lead to confusion and, sometimes, outcries of “Liar, Liar!” It’s not an issue of intentionally misleading others. It’s about the fact that different people have different interpretations of words and phrases. Here are just a few examples:

A man says, “I love you.” A woman hears, “Let’s get married.”

A woman says, “I want you to have fun.” A man hears, “Poker every Friday night with the guys!”

A parent says, “Stop that or you’ll be in trouble!” A child hears…well, nothing!

A manager says, “You deserve recognition.” An employee hears, “Great! A down payment on a boat!” Similar misunderstandings can occur when organizations post their values. It’s critical these values

Continue reading Watch What You Say

Union Member on Union (and Company) Leaders

I get email all the time from current union members. It’s usually hate mail containing all kinds of “thoughtful feedback” about things I should do to myself and asking me about my sleep (I sleep well, by the way…). Since most of this email can’t even spell the curse words right I don’t reprint it. However, I do occasionally get insightful emails like the one below (lots of great stuff in here for union leaders as well as company leaders):

Dear Sir:

And a very pleasant good morning to you. I really don’t know how it happened, perhaps reading something on NPR or whatever, but your ‘spot’ on the page caught my attention.

Allow me to introduce and explain myself and why I am writing.

I have been employed for

Continue reading Union Member on Union (and Company) Leaders

INK: June 25, 2009

A bit of detective work uncovered another fraud perpetrated by Big Labor in attempting to persuade members of Congress that a new coalition of businesses supported the Employee Free Choice Act. Even though their website gives no list of names, the group attempted to claim 1000 members.

Continue reading INK: June 25, 2009

INK: April 9, 2009

inkquill22 Labor Relations INK

Download a PDF of this issue with links here.


Labor Relations Insight from Phil Wilson

Reading The Tea Leaves on EFCA

In the couple of weeks since Arlen Specter’s blockbuster announcement that he would vote against cloture and (maybe) vote against EFCA, quite a few pundits have claimed the so-called “Free Choice” Act is dead for the near future. I’ve already argued that news of EFCA’s death is greatly exaggerated, but I’d like to point out a couple of observable facts that I think are worth considering as we handicap the future of EFCA.

It’s been interesting to observe how unions have responded to Specter’s announcement. Most interesting to me was that there wasn’t much of a response to the initial story at all.

Continue reading INK: April 9, 2009

Your EFCA Early Warning System

In Today’s Issue: Your EFCA Early Warning System

Today, many company leaders heavily focus on earning quarterly profits and feel there’s ample time to react to union organizers.

Unfortunately, the news media poorly covers the ramifications the Employee Free Choice Act to businesses. This Act leaves no time to react. Even the so-called “compromise” proposals being floated about have one thing in common – very short to no election periods.

The problem is that in most cases companies have no idea union organizers are already soliciting employees to sign check cards.

Two months ago one of our consultants (a former union organizer himself) uncovered union organizers offering employees money to sign union cards at a Call Center in Missouri.  Yes, they’ll pay your employees money to sign a union card.  The employer was shocked to learn this.

And just a few weeks ago during some EFCA training we were conducting

Continue reading Your EFCA Early Warning System

Unsung Hero of Saving Jobs

In Today’s Issue: Unsung Hero of Saving Jobs

Virtually anyone can do it. So it’s easily taken for granted. Even pooh-poohed by some in today’s gadgetized corporate world.

But if your first level leaders communicate regularly with employees – as little as once or twice a week – about “big stuff” you’ll massively improve your employee relations environment. Most companies who measure engagement find that it doubles when they do a good job of this. Some companies have seen improvements of 8 times or more.

Before we talk about the “big stuff” you should address with your employers, let’s take a closer look at this unsung hero of your workplace.

Your first level leaders – they are the critical link between a positive and engaged workforce or a negative, disengaged workforce vulnerable to union organizing activity.

Your first level leaders are top management’s only line of defense. How they handle

Continue reading Unsung Hero of Saving Jobs

INK: February 27, 2009

inkquill22 Labor Relations INK

Download a PDF of this issue with links here.


Labor Relations Insight from Phil Wilson

Solis vs. Corruption

Hilda Solis was confirmed as Secretary of Labor this week. After a bumpy confirmation process in which her nomination was held up by questions about her role as a lobbyist for the Free Choice Act while also serving in Congress, she was approved overwhelmingly by the Senate.

Unions are happy with Solis, who served on the Board of American Rights at Work, a non-profit, union-funded lobbying organization whose purpose is to garner for the Free Choice Act. Businesses are wary for the same reason. I’m sure she is anxious to get to work. She has big shoes to fill.

read the rest of the article

Continue reading INK: February 27, 2009