Sometimes there are situations where an employer may welcome unionization, but most employers prefer to avoid unionization where able. At ALG we take a very fresh approach to union avoidance. We handle this type of work with ultimate sensitivity and deference to our clients’ confidentiality and long-term success. We are confident that you will find our approach to labor & employee relations extremely refreshing and much more “positive” compared to approaches traditionally used in this area. Our union prevention tools are rooted in information and traceable data. We are not “union busters” or “persuaders”.
Union avoidance training for management focuses on two things in our mind: 1) understanding the law, and 2) understanding why leadership is not in favor of unionization. If you ask the average supervisor, they likely would tell you that unionization is not good for employees, but they often have no idea why. Our management training touches on the history of the union movement and its current status in the US, and the law – what does the National Labor Relations Act say about a particular situation? By understanding why unions came about in the first place and how they have evolved over the years, supervisors are better able to understand why an employer might not be in favor of unionization. Again, each of our programs is tailored to specific client needs, but in general, all our management training discusses:
- History of the Union Movement in the US
- The current state of unions in the US
- Data on the specific union involved
- Do’s and Don’ts (the Law)
- Role-play situations on how to legally and effectively answer employee questions
Believe it or not, there are several effective ways to do union prevention without even mentioning the word “union” to your workforce or management. One way is to audit your management team. We typically do a group session followed by 30-45 minute interviews of each supervisor/manager at a location. We ask supervisors a series of very detailed questions regarding their perceptions of the employment environment and we also ask them to think about what the employees’ perception on a wide variety of topics might be. These audits are very effective at uncovering gaps in management that, if caught and remedied in time, might cure any reasons that could potentially lead employees to seek third-party representation. Catching these issues through early prevention is far more cost-effective and less disruptive than going through an actual NLRB representation election.
This is a simple way to take the pulse of your workforce and gauge any potential problems that need to be remedied before they expand into serious issues. Like a management team audit, these conversations can take place without even mentioning the word “union”. Generally, if employees are happy, they do not look for third-party representation. On the other hand, if they view their supervisor or the company in a negative light, employees explore union representation.
The first step in the unionization process is for a union to demonstrate that it has secured the requisite ‘showing of interest’ to move forward with an NLRB representation election. The traditional way of doing this is to ask employees to fill out something called a union authorization card. Unfortunately, the law allows union organizers to mislead employees into signing these cards. Union organizers are often very aggressive when approaching employees about authorization cards.
ALG’s authorization card mitigation training teaches employees (and supervisors) exactly what is an authorization card and what it means if the employee signs a card. We also teach employees about what a union, by law, really can and cannot do for them as far as wages, benefits, and terms & conditions of employment.