Interesting in joining a union?
Contact our Organizing Department at 1-800-332-9699 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Some companies that feel threatened by the idea of their workers having union representation will resort to various tactics in order to keep you from organizing. These include love tactics and scare tactics that, while opposite in their approach, can both have equally damaging effect for workers trying to get an independent voice at work. It is important to remember your rights as a worker and your federally protected rights to organize.
Your employer might try to sway you from supporting a union by saying . . . . .
“Give us a chance”
Employers may admit to making mistakes assuring that those mistakes will be remedied, and will never occur again. Management may send out “love letters”, which formally apologize for any wrong doings in the past, and make promises for a better future. But why are they apologizing for problems they know about that may have existed for years? Because they are afraid of losing power in the long run to you and your coworkers.
Your company may implement temporary changes or improvements in reaction to a union organizing campaign. These changes rarely last beyond the campaign because the employer has no reason to uphold them when the threat of a union goes away. Your employer is free to make these changes after your store votes for or against union representation, but it is illegal for the employer to interfere with the campaign.
A Sudden Change in Attitude
The attitude of your employer towards you and your fellow workers might dramatically improve. Management is suddenly very concerned with showing you how much they appreciate and respect you as a member of the company. Activities, such as lunches, dinners and picnics, are organized for workers and their families – activities that did not exist before the union began the organizing campaign.
Or your employer might try to sway you from supporting a union by saying . . . . .
Management Won’t Listen to the Union
Management wants you to believe that workers coming together in a union have little power, and that, should the workplace become unionized, management won’t bargain with the workers, or comply with the workers’ contract. What management doesn’t want you to know is that, by federal law, they must cooperate when workers form a union.
Threatening Your Benefits
It is against the law to threaten your benefits as punishment for supporting a union.
Pressuring Team Leaders and Supervisors
Management may pressure your supervisors to subtly, or not so subtly, spread anti-union messages around your store. Many times, supervisors will use their personal relationships with employees to manipulate and harass. Again, under federal law, management is not allowed to promote, recruit, or fund any form of anti-union committee.
We’re a Family – We’re a Team
Management might organize a mandatory meeting in order to spread an anti-union message throughout your workplace, emphasizing that the company is a family and should stand united against the union. It is not unusual for anti-union videos and other forms of propaganda to be shown at these meetings.
Management may get so desperate that they hire highly paid union-busting consultants. These people are paid to keep workers from forming a union at any cost. Many times, employers pay these people as much as or more than it would cost to make workplace improvements that would benefit workers.
The reality of strikes is that it’s your choice. Your negotiating team of your coworkers will examine all other alternatives before a strike is deemed necessary. Statistically, less than 1% of thousands of UFCW negotiated contracts end in strikes. Only members can decide to strike,by a two-thirds supermajority vote.
$ Money, Money, Money $
Your employer may attempt to frighten you with talk about all the money you will pay if you form a union. However, these claims are false. When workers come together to form a union at their workplace they aren’t required to pay any of the costs associated with it. You will pay dues only when you have a contract. But dues bring large rewards in pay raises, benefits, job security, representation and working conditions. The added pay and benefits workers receive through belonging to the union are much more than the cost of union dues. The dues go to pay for organizers, legal assistance, support staff, rent, materials, etc… which are all needed to maintain good contracts and adequate representation. No one pays dues until the workers have voted to accept a contract.