1.) Did you know that the AFL-CIO will increase their organizing budget from $2.5 million
annual budget for organizing to at least $20 million to bolster its six year-old Organizing Institute and supplement organizing efforts by individual unions in an effort to organize Employers of all size. Editors of the Nation's Business, The Small Business Adviser said in their Editor's Note page of the February 1996 issue,"Owners and managers of even the smallest companies should be on the alert as labor implements its activist strategy."
2.) Did you know that a Union can salt your workforce with Union plants and it is legal so said the Supreme Court in an unanimous decision.
3.) The Union's new organizing tool is the Corporate Campaign, described by some as
4.) John Sweeney, President of the AFL-CIO and former President of the SEIU, in his
interview with Nation's Business said, "We will organize small businesses as well as big businesses. We plan to organize in every region of the country, (with) additional resources in the Sun Belt. We will be training 1,000 new organizers over the course of the next year and half, and we will be enlisting 1,000 students and volunteer workers next summer (1996) to supplement the organizing work and to build up a high degree of visibility for the organizing campaign".
(Tip: print out a copy of this page for reference, you may need it later!)
5.) There are certain things that you should do to be prepared in advance for a
union organizing campaign. You must be legally prepared to:
- have non employees leave your business premises,
- be able to deal with outside solicitors and inside employee solicitors,
- and other disruptive activities. .
6.) You need to be able to recognize the signs of Union Organizing.
7.) If a Union is organizing your employees you need to know what to say, and what you can
say to your employees without committing an Unfair Labor Practice.
By the National Labor
Relations Act you are restricted from:
- Spying on employees regarding their union activity,
- Making promises to employees to get ride of the union,
- Threatening employees about organizing,
- And the toughest one of all for employers and managers not interrogating about their
The National Labor Relations Act allows you to:
- Give your employees facts about unions,
- Give your employees opinions without them becoming threats,
- Give your employees examples of what unions do.
- You can do the above if you are properly prepared.
8.) Although you do not have total control of a Union Corporate Campaign you can be
prepared - as you are prepared for a fire.
Michael Manning, of Braun Consulting, and formerly Labor Relations Director with Hillhaven negotiated agreements with the SEIU in California for 10 years without strikes and without Corporate Campaigns; then in 1995 the SEIU declared 1995 "The Year of the Nursing Home" and started a Corporate Campaign against Hillhaven and many of the larger companies in the long term care convalescent care industry.
At the same time Vencor acquired Hillhaven. SEIU's main negotiating demand at the table
since July of 1995 has been card check recognition. By this method of recognition an employer
agrees with a Union that the employer will recognize a union by reviewing cards the union
presents management signed by a majority of employees. If a majority of employees have
signed a card making the union their representative for purposes of bargaining for wages, hours
and working conditions then the union is recognized without an election conducted by the
National Labor Relations Board.
During Manning's 10 year tenure with Hillhaven Hillhaven's Union facilities shrunk from 40 to 25
in the state of California. The Union said this doesn't make sense why don't we get card check
recognition and go after Hillhaven's over 300 non-union facilities nationwide. Manning has seen
all aspects of a corporate campaign.
- "The insidious aspect of a Union Corporate Campaign is that it does not lend
itself to an easy resolution and involves all aspects of the business: employees,
customers, stock holders, suppliers, referral agents, the general public. There is
no way to legally insulate yourself from being the target of a Corporate
Campaign and any legal counsel that says so is out to milk a cow. If an
employer decides to respond in kind to everything the union does, you better
have a lot of money. This is the union and outside legal counsel's game. If you
do not handle the campaign in a very well thought out program designed in
advance you could easily join the ranks of General Pyrrhus in a Pyrrhic victory.
You may think that you are winning all the battles but you will end up losing the
war because you have run out of money. Hillhaven, now Vencor, has spent
over a million dollars in California and is still in negotiation without a settlement."
It got to the point for Hillhaven, after Manning left, that Hillhaven (Vencor) gave employees a raise without getting anything for it. In a Corporate Campaign you better get the Chief Executive Officer involved in the process from the get go because only the Chief Executive Officer has the insight to all the issues that will be brought out. The Chief Executive Officer should not be the one responsible for management's response to the union but must be aware of all that is going on
since much of a Corporate Campaign is aimed at the Chief Executive Officer. The frustration for a Chief Executive Officer is that in just about everything in his experience he is in control. A Chief Executive Officer is not in control in a Corporate Campaign, he is on the defense. Any lawyer who puts the spin on a Corporate Campaign that the Company is on the offense doesn't
have a clue in the interest of the Company."
Braun Consulting is providing Employers a Policy of
Braun Consulting "Policy of Preparedness"
Braun Consulting will do the following for you:
- Prepare you to manage your business during a Union Corporate Campaign.
- Review with you the various ways of dealing with a Union Corporate Campaign.
Know what the beginning, middle and end is with a Union Corporate Campaign.
What are your realistic costs going to be?
What will your style of Campaign consist of?
Who will you involve in the management of the Campaign?
Who will be the project manager?
- Conduct an all day workshop
BEING PREPARED TO OPERATE DURING A UNION CORPORATE CAMPAIGN
allowing the following: You may have as many members of management attend from each single site for the following cost. Your first designated management representative cost is included in the cost designated below. Each additional management member attending will be charged $50.
The Workshop on:
TO OPERATE DURING A UNION CORPORATE CAMPAIGN will cover the following
- What is a Union Corporate Campaign?
- Being prepared to defeat Union Organizing,
- What to do when the Union Shows Up,
- Identifying the signs of organizing,
- How to avoid Unfair Labor Practices,
- What you cannot say,
- What you can say,
- Avoiding the tit for tat syndrome-because you will lose. Who promotes the tit
for tat syndrome?
- Being Prepared to speak out when the time is ripe and right,
- Remember on a Union Corporate Campaign the Union is out to have you agree or
to destroy you,
- When and What to say to your various publics,
- Communicating with your employees,
- Communicating with all the rest,
- What to expect during the campaign,
- Comparing the costs of various legal maneuvers and the ultimate good to the
company. The mission of the company is not necessarily to keep your lawyer
happy. Would you bankrupt the company to avoid the Union? Your Legal Counsel
- Remember Management, your lawyer works for you not the other way around.
- How to effectively use Outside Counsel and Consultants.
- The general counsel job in many a large company is to make sure that
outside counsel or consultants are doing an effective job.
- Require Outside Counsel and Consultants to present a Plan,
- Require Outside Counsel and Consultants to forecast measurable results,
- Require Outside Counsel and Consultants to Establish a Budget for each,
major task within their Plan and hold them to results, not just activity.
- Your Outside Counsel and Consultants need to know your business and
have an understanding of business, if not, get a new Counsel or Consultant.
- Prepare your Labor Relations Mission Statement and
Company Labor Relations
4.) Consult with you and Answer your first PR attack by the Union We will prepare the
message designed for the one public relations target you choose to respond to.
(You would pay
for the medium.)
5.) Consult with you and Answer your first Unfair Labor Charge filed by the Union.
6.) This Preparedness contract will be in effect during the Summer of 1996 through December
1996. One designated member of your management will have
telephone access with your Braun Consultants during the contract term.
Bob Braun of Braun Consulting Group said,
"This is one of those activities the Chief Executive Officer must know about,
and be prepared to meet and beat the Union's Campaign because the very
existence of the Company depends on the preparedness of Management."