On April 14, 2015, The National Labor Relations Board’s new “Quickie Election” rule officially took effect. This new rule poses a real threat to companies of all sizes and industries.
How can you prepare your business before a union attempt takes place?
As a leader in keeping workplaces union-free, PMP has decades of experience helping prepare and successfully protecting businesses from the threat of unionization. Here are 10 steps you can take to protect your business.
Provide Effective Training to Management: Train your local management and front-line Remember, your first line of defense is professional front line supervision. Educate them on facts about unionization including how to recognize union activity, how unions organize, and election procedures. It’s also important that they are aware of what they can and cannot say and do in this situation. They should know their legal rights and responsibilities under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA).
Maintain Positive Employee Relations: Effective two-way communication with your employees is critical so that your employees feel that they are well respected and treated fairly.
Assess the Status of Your Supervisors: You must do an analysis to make sure that your “supervisors” meet the standards required by the Labor Board, prior to the beginning of union activity. Supervisors are not eligible to vote and employers are responsible under the NLRA for their actions.
Conduct Vulnerability Assessment with Supervisors: Identify and address potential/actual workplace issues with your supervisors to assess the area of weakness within your organization that a union could exploit. You must also evaluate the effectiveness of your managers/supervisors during this process.
Conduct a Vulnerability Audit Meeting with Managers and Supervisors: During your vulnerability audit meeting you should inquire about communication methods within your organization, disciplinary systems, working conditions, employee morale, and anti-bullying policies. You should also assess the fairness of your wage structure, whether you have competitive wages and fringes, outlets for employees who believe they are treated unfairly, and ensure that your workplace environment fosters mutual respect.
Train a Response Team: One of the best ways for you to prepare is to train a response team in the event that union organizing begins. This team should consist of senior management, legal, security that will jump into action, human resources, media relations, and front line supervisors. You should have literature ready to go, including speeches, which are responsive to matters in your workplace. The response team should be provided with regular updates about employee issues and labor law developments. Deployment of the company’s position and answers to questions must be quickly and properly communicated.
Collect Employee Data to Meet The New Labor Board Time Table: Having all your ducks in a row is critical in stopping unionization. Failure to meet Labor Board deadlines can overturn favorable election results. This includes the organization of employee data such as personal information, work locations, job classifications, primary language spoken, relatives in workplace, dates and amounts of pay increases, etc.
Review and Update Company Policies and Employee Handbook: Make sure you are compliant with “Section 7” employee rights and all recent NLRB decisions. The Labor Board is enforcing regulations in non-union environments. Make sure that your workplace policies are being enforced consistently and that all policies are in place before the union comes along.
Analyze Potential Bargaining Unit Issues: You should closely examine your business to help ensure that you do not let the union define what group of workers will participate in the elections.
Contact an HR Professional: It’s important to reach out to an HR professional to ensure that you are properly prepared in the event of a union attempt. PMP has an outstanding record of assisting companies in maintaining a union-free environment by implementing policies and procedures to reduce vulnerabilities to a union attack.
This new process will energize unions. They will become more active than ever before, and employers will have a much more difficult time opposing unionization after the “Quickie Election” rule goes into effect. Protect your business before it’s too late.