In a BLR webinar entitled "Unions: New 'Quickie Election' Regulations on the Table; How to Protect Your Workplace," Maria Anastas, Esq., partner in the San Francisco office of law firm Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, PC addressed some of the best practices and areas to avoid when campaigning against the potential for union organization within the company.
As for what to do, remember the acronym FOE:
- Facts: "This union has fined its members for crossing the union's picket line."
- Opinions: "I don't think a union will be able to get you more than what you have right now."
- Examples: "The employees at XYZ Company voted this union out five years ago."
While there is much you can legally say to employees about unions there are a few restrictions. Remember the acronym TIPS. While each letter doesn't necessary stand for a "don't," it stands for a communication area that requires supervisors to be a little careful. Not afraid, just careful:
- Interrogation (questions)
- Spying or surveillance -- when the topic is unions.
Always remember that:
- The campaign should not be predictable.
- Avoid "stock" materials and videos.
- Messages should be simple, honest and creatively presented.
- Communicators should be credible and respected among workers.
Maria Anastas, Esq., is a partner in the San Francisco office of law firm Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, PC (www.ogletreedeakins.com). She represents employers in labor and employment law matters exclusively, with a primary emphasis on traditional labor matters. She handles union organizing drives and corporate campaigns, collective bargaining and arbitration, and proceedings before the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). She also devotes a substantial portion of her practice to helping employers develop preventive labor relations plans.
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