Monday, December 10, 2012

How much do Your Employees know about Unions?

How much do Your Employees know about Unions?
Thirty or forty years ago, that would have been an easy question to answer. Union membership was high, and even if people weren't personally union members, they probably knew friends or relatives that were.
Since then, though, union membership has declined by two/thirds or more, most prominently in the private sector. Firsthand union knowledge has not been passed down. Many in today’s workforce don’t really have any idea of what it means to pay dues, abide by union rules, have someone negotiate a contract for them, or what happens during a strike.
Education is vitally important.
As you are no doubt aware, labor laws are likely to change. And they’re only helping unions. Things like Shortened election cycles, Micro units and Persuader rule making are simply the tip of the iceberg. Unions were huge participants in the November election. They have a friendly Administration, and it knows there’s a big debt owed. Organizing is going to become easier and easier. And your company just might be a target.
Now is the time to talk with your employees.
So what can you do to prepare? Well, lots. But the bare minimum is this: Communicate with your employees. Educate them. You don’t have to be the big, bad union basher. Start slowly. Here’s what we mean:
Sign on the Dotted Line. A simple but effective card-signing video.
In a routine meeting, start the process of educating your employees by showing them what might happen. First Cut Communications can create a custom card-signing video just for your company. Or, our sister company, AGTS, offers a proven entry into the fray called “Signing Your Rights Away.” This new video has already stopped numerous campaigns in their tracks and bought valuable time for management to work on the issues. It is also being used in orientations of new employees in several major corporations. They want their employees to know and understand the company’s position on unions.
An Ounce of Prevention . . .
Yes, it’s a cliché. But it’s never been more appropriate than right now. The unions have been quiet for way too long. They need dues money to survive and they really don’t care where they get it. Don’t let a union tell your employees its side of the story first. Campaigns cost big money. Our videos don’t. Start now. Don’t wait to communicate.
Here’s where to find a preview. Every one of your employees should see this message. Call us. Or write us. At the very least, we should be communicating.