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Hi Jim and Phil, I would like to thank your team on our recent victory over the IAFF in our election on Friday. We won with about 2/3 of the votes in our favor. I could not have done it without the great work of Scott Michel. He got to the root of the problem almost immediately and got me headed in the right direction. Thanks again for your expert help.
W. Woodcock

This is a very important website. I am a Union worker but an American First and the idea of open/non-private voting is repugnant to me. It flies in the face of American tradition where your vote is and should be CONFIDENTIAL. Most Union employees feel as I do and they need to know what this is all about. As far as I know, I hope, this sort of thing is not happening in the Union to which I belong. If I find out it is I will protest. All I can say is keep up the good work. I will pass this around to everyone I can. They cannot intimidate me.

Appreciate the information which is articulated very well. Thank you.

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

Continue reading INK: February 27, 2009

INK: January 22, 2009

inkquill22 Labor Relations INK

Download a PDF of this issue with links here.

Labor Relations Insight from Phil Wilson

Online Organizing

A really interesting article in The Nation about the promise – and perils – of online organizing. Among the most interesting things it discusses is how the web 2.0 world is actually a threat to unions in the traditional sense of the word.

The “distributed” nature of the web can destroy hierarchical structures (just as it has in the business world). Where a group of workers can self-organize around a problem, why do they need to fund and deal with the politics of a super-structure with its own agenda? They don’t.

read the rest of the article here…


SEIU Meltdown

Continue reading INK: January 22, 2009

INK: December 18, 2008

inkquill22 Labor Relations INK

Download a PDF of this issue with links here.

Labor Relations Insight from Phil Wilson

Bailouts and Pay to Play

As unions prepare for the upcoming epic battle over the so-called “Free Choice” Act, they were dealt a couple of embarrassing public setbacks last week. The Detroit 3-UAW bailout and the “pay to play” scandal in Illinois create a lot of questions about union claims of fighting for the little guy at a time when they really need that narrative to resonate with voters and their supporters in Congress. What impact, if any, will these have on the push for the Free Choice Act in the next few months?

read the rest of the article here…


Under the Spotlight

Continue reading INK: December 18, 2008

INK: November 18, 2008

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Download a PDF of this issue with links here.

Labor Relations Insight from Phil Wilson

Why Campaigns Matter

I received the following email today from someone who got my “Unions: The 7 Lies You Must Know” email series. I thought I would share it. My response follows. Here was the email from “localunion21”:

Hello Philip I have read your seven lies and have a question for you. I work non-union in Omaha Nebraska making $17.00/hr with no health benefits for my family and no plan for retirement.

I was approached by a union organizer and he did use some of the info you provided.

read the rest of the article here…


Boeing Strike The Last Straw?

Continue reading INK: November 18, 2008

INK: October 21, 2008

inkquill22 Labor Relations INK

Download a PDF of this issue with links here.

Labor Relations Insight from Phil Wilson

EFCA: No Time To Lose

We are only 2 weeks away from what at this point looks like a big win for Barack Obama and a substantial – perhaps filibuster-proof – Democratic majority in the Senate. Many people we’ve talked to over the last several months about the Free Choice Act have told us they are waiting until after the elections before they do anything. I have a feeling many of those will say that they are going to wait until the legislation passes before they take action after the election.

These “conservative” strategies seem logical. After all, why prepare for a change in the laws

Continue reading INK: October 21, 2008

EFCA Tip of the Iceberg

No matter what your political leanings, if you are a businessman (or woman), you have to be concerned about the impact to the business environment that a liberal sweep of the elections would most likely mean. The Employee Free Choice Act is but a glimpse of what could lie behind the curtain. And you can’t forget about the implications of long-term aspects such as judge selection and the restriction of pro-business speech on the airwaves (“Fairness” doctrine).

I can’t begin to tell you all the different ways you could or should be dealing with this situation (at least not in a blog post). I can’t create your contingency plans. I will suggest that the more you connect in a positive manner with your employees, the better your chances of coming out ahead. The better they understand the nature of your business and it’s competitive advantages, the better they

Continue reading EFCA Tip of the Iceberg

INK: September 24, 2008

inkquill22 Labor Relations INK

Download a PDF of this issue with links here.

Labor Relations Insight from Phil Wilson

We All Owe A Debt To Wal-Mart

Wal-Mart gets a lot of bad publicity. That’s what happens when you are the big dog. But you learn to take those shots with a large grain of salt. Especially if you are in the labor relations part of the business, where just about anything you do is likely to make the front pages of hundreds of union and other anti-corporate blogs – if not the occasional Wall Street Journal article

read the rest of the article here…


Will Boeing Follow American Automakers?

Boeing StrikeNot content to hold probably

Continue reading INK: September 24, 2008

How is EFCA Good For American Business?

Winning Workplaces has a great article on becoming a business that is hard for unions to organize. They state,

“the great leaders in the progressive small firms we recognize for their exemplary workplace practices work hard to create cultures that embrace soliciting employee opinions, early and often.”

I whole-heartedly agree! The challenge is that this kind of culture is built layer by layer, over time, and if this environment doesn’t already exist it cannot be constructed overnight.

If there is any single benefit to the potential onslaught upon American business brought about by the likely passage of the Employee Free Choice Act, it is the highlighting of this issue: that these types of business cultures really are the best environment for businesses. Those companies that have lagged behind might finally be motivated to be proactive in fostering such environments.

The effort required to build such a workplace, especially in

Continue reading How is EFCA Good For American Business?

Employee Satisfaction Surveys: Action Planning

I got the following email today from a reader of my employee satisfaction survey eBook. I thought her question about action planning was so good that it might be interesting to others, so I am posting her email (excerpted) and my reply below. First, her email:

Dear Phil,

I’m taking you up on your offer [to help on survey issues]…I am focusing on the “action planning” part of employee surveys. Most follow-up guidelines state the obvious steps after a survey:1. Understand the results2. Provide feedback to respondents3. Identify priorities4. Develop an action plan5. Implement6. Follow up

I want to develop a specific, motivating guide for managers to carry out steps 2,3,4 – that is, how to conduct follow-up meetings that are engaging in themselves, and not motivation-killers as I have observed many to be. E.g. “So here are our scores. What should we do about them? Who wants to

Continue reading Employee Satisfaction Surveys: Action Planning