Union free elections are won or lost by how well the company communicates. The fourth biggest mistake companies make in union free elections is to sit on the bench. This means not telling employees that you want to keep a direct relationship with them.
In our last article we talked about the TIPS rules. But there are other rules–called the FOE rules–that cover what you should say during a union free election. FOE stands for Facts, Opinion and Examples.
You can always give facts about the company and the union. As we discussed in Part 3 and the bonus TIPS, you cannot promise benefits to employees during a union free campaign. However it is always lawful to discuss the facts about unions during the campaign. You can always “set the record straight” about the promises unions make.
You can discuss the business environment and how the union’s promises are not
Continue reading Union Free: 10 Ways to Lose Your Election – Part 4: Sitting On the Bench
Union free elections are lost for many reasons. As we discussed in Part 3, one reason companies lose elections is because they break the Labor Board rules. That’s why our number one rule for consultants and clients is don’t cheat. We have never committed an unfair labor practice in thousands of elections because we follow these rules.
Here are some bonus tips on how to avoid these problems (by the way, the easy way to remember the rules is to remember the word TIPS). These slip-ups often lead to unfair labor practices and overturn elections.
Threats: A common error is threatening employees. Any threat that a bad thing will happen if an employee votes for the union is unlawful. It’s also a bad campaign strategy. A manager who threatens an employee is making a terrible assumption. He assumes that the threatened employee will do what he wants. This
Continue reading Union Free: How to Lose A Union Election – Bonus TIPS
The third way to lose your union free election is by cheating. We have two core beliefs all of our consultants agree to follow. First, we treat union free campaigns as a teaching event. We treat voters with respect and know our job is to help them learn about unions and make their own decision about what is best for them. Our second core principle is that we don’t cheat. By cheating I mean violating the National Labor Relations Act rules on how to conduct a free and fair election.
Unions may not believe that we follow these beliefs, but we take them very seriously. As a lawyer I want my clients stay well within the ground rules of the Act. This is not just good legal practice. It’s also the best way to win.
There are some consultants who like to “push the envelope” during union free elections.
Continue reading How to Lose a Union Free Election: Part 3 – Cheating
We just published a new presentation on Union Free: Vulnerability Assessment
View more documents from Labor Relations Institute on our Union Free SlideShare page.
Union free elections are tough to win. Management wins less than 7 out of 10 elections these days. One reason they lose is because of who they choose to deliver the company message.
“Never send the arsonist to put out the fire.” That’s one of my Dad’s favorite lines, and it is great advice in a union free election campaign. In almost every case local managers are the reason the union is there in the first place. Yet many clients rely on them to deliver the company message. This is a great way to lose an election.
Don’t confuse my advice. There is nothing wrong with asking managers to say they regret the union campaign happened, or that they are want to work directly with employees. This is an important part of any winning union free election.
The problem is relying on this group to deliver the entire campaign message.
Continue reading How To Lose A Union Free Election: Part 2 – Sending the Arsonist to Put Out the Fire
I’m about to explain something that will make a lot of people in the labor relations industry mad. But it’s simply a fact. The most common mistake the companies make is running a “traditional” campaign. By traditional campaign I mean a campaign that is driven primarily by the written word, especially letters, handouts and posters.
The “traditional” campaign was successful in the 1970’s and 80’s, as companies began to respond more aggressively to union organizing activity. This campaign was successful for two reasons:
Unions were lazier. Fifteen years ago a union that faced employer opposition would often walk away. Even if they did go through with an election they would not put up much resistance to an employer’s campaign. Their strategy was basically to file the petition and hope for the best. Written communication was more “normal.” The other reason that the traditional campaign worked is because it was much
Continue reading How To Lose Your Union Free Election: Part 1 Running a “Traditional” Campaign
“The Devil At My Doorstep” has a fascinating subtitle: “Protecting Employee Rights.”
How to Beat the SEIU in an Anti-Corporate Campaign
That subtitle explains a lot about the book’s author, David Bego. More important, it explains a lot about why David Bego pulled off something that doesn’t happen as often as it should. He kicked the SEIU’s butt in an anti-corporate campaign. His book gets my highest recommendation (order your copy at a special price for INK subscribers).
If you want to know what an anti-corporate campaign waged by the SEIU actually feels like, buy this book. The SEIU has taken anti-corporate campaigns to an art form that would make Saul Alinsky proud. David Bego took their best shot and didn’t blink. His tale is at times strategic, sometimes tactical and
Continue reading How To Fight the SEIU: Devil At My Doorstep