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EMPLOYER S ANTI-UNION CAMPAIGN ORGANISING Employers anti-union campaign 0.

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Presentation on theme: "EMPLOYER S ANTI-UNION CAMPAIGN ORGANISING Employers anti-union campaign 0."— Presentation transcript:

1 EMPLOYER S ANTI-UNION CAMPAIGN ORGANISING Employers anti-union campaign 0

2 EMPLOYER S ANTI-UNION CAMPAIGN 2

3 3 The fundamental conflict between labour and capital will usually result in some effort by the employer to keep workers away from the union.

4 EMPLOYER S ANTI-UNION CAMPAIGN 4 What might the employer do or say? Support workers efforts to organise Befriend workers Promote union supporters to management Give raises and make promises Increase discipline or fire union supporters Discredit union leadership Start anti-union loyalty committee (yellow union) Terminate unpopular managers Threaten to close the company Meet with the workers one-to- one Use physical violence Say Give us a second chance, we promise to improve things Say We are all one happy family Say The union is the outside party Say It is not my decision Say You dont need a union because you have a works council Yell and intimidate Hire an outside anti-union consultant Other

5 EMPLOYER S ANTI-UNION CAMPAIGN 5 What can we do? Stay on the offensive. Keep the focus on improving working conditions, not on the employers messages. Strengthen the arbolitos (worker networks). Informed and involved workers are our best protection. Predict and explain the employers actions before they begin.

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7 7 What facts will your employer tell you about? What wont your employer tell you about? Dues Strikes Unions

8 EMPLOYER S ANTI-UNION CAMPAIGN 8 The union will want to focus on: Improving working conditions Worker output

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14 EMPLOYER S ANTI-UNION CAMPAIGN 14 Dont be defensive If you have already discussed the issues with workers, you wont need to respond defensively to each employer fact. Responding directly to the employers issues can give them legitimacy and importance. If you have to respond, be clear, brief and positive.

15 EMPLOYER S ANTI-UNION CAMPAIGN 15 Strengthen the arbolitos (worker networks) Keep focused on the undecided workers. Dont alienate undecided workers by over-appealing to union supporters.

16 EMPLOYER S ANTI-UNION CAMPAIGN 16 The employer may pressure workers to stay away from the union and union supporters Encourage workers to keep in touch with the union, no matter what happens, as there will be a lot of misinformation and rumours. Gather any still-missing names and contact details of workers. It will be harder and harder to do as the anti-union campaign develops.

17 EMPLOYER S ANTI-UNION CAMPAIGN 17 Prepare workers for meetings with supervisors List what might be said. Plan together how to respond. Take turns practising, one playing the role of supervisor and one the worker. Supervisors may be trained to gather information from workers. Share only information that you want to go back to the company, no matter how friendly the approach.

18 EMPLOYER S ANTI-UNION CAMPAIGN 18 Supervisors may be pressured to pressure workers The company ordered me to fire employees who supported the union, telling me it was either my job or theirs. The company kept Black and Latino workers virtually separated. The word was that Black workers were going to be replaced with Latino workers, because Blacks were more favourable towards unions. I was told to give overtime to anti-union employees who wanted it and to force overtime on pro-union workers.

19 EMPLOYER S ANTI-UNION CAMPAIGN 19 Quote from a manual on How to Keep the Union Out The first-line supervisors are the key to success. The basic reason … is that they are the primary point of contact with the employee … A supervisor has a lawful obligation to assist the company in its objective of remaining union-free.

20 EMPLOYER S ANTI-UNION CAMPAIGN 20 Anti-union loyalty committee or yellow (company) unions Attacking workers in the anti-union committee can make workers fight each other instead of focusing on improving working conditions. Instead, keep the pressure on the employer. Demand a written commitment from the employer that they will not provide aid to a union.

21 EMPLOYER S ANTI-UNION CAMPAIGN 21 Surveillance The employer may collect information about workers, including personal/medical information. Workers and their families may be followed. Encourage workers to tell their personal stories to their co-workers before an employer does. Remind everyone to focus on improving working conditions, not personal attacks and rumours.

22 EMPLOYER S ANTI-UNION CAMPAIGN 22 Violence Share any history of violence. Predict what could happen. Prepare support teams in case of an emergency. Include trusted community leaders. Keep the arbolitos (worker networks) quiet and underground. If violence occurs, quietly and systematically continue organising. At the same time, prepare for public action against violence with ITF regional and global support.

23 EMPLOYER S ANTI-UNION CAMPAIGN 23 Talk to workers about fear Fear is a small word with powerful meaning. We have all lived with fear. We always live through it. We are intelligent people who have educated ourselves about our rights. This is not a time to be manipulated, divided and oppressed by fear. We know what we need, we need to organise. Manny Tavarez Fear is a small word with powerful meaning. We have all lived with fear. We always live through it. We are intelligent people who have educated ourselves about our rights. This is not a time to be manipulated, divided and oppressed by fear. We know what we need, we need to organise. Manny Tavarez

24 EMPLOYER S ANTI-UNION CAMPAIGN 24 Could we face an anti-union consultant? Anti-union consultants or law firms can counsel or direct the employers anti-union campaign. The USs $4 billion [£2 billion] union-busting industry is extremely profitable and growing globally. The Burke Group has 1,400 clients in 50 industries and 10 countries, including the US, EU, Canada, Mexico and China.

25 EMPLOYER S ANTI-UNION CAMPAIGN 25 Signs of an anti-union consultant Increased training for supervisors Employee surveys on organisational climate Strategic, well-thought-out responses to the union Sudden increase in company social events Change in behaviour and attitudes of supervisors If union literature is left in the workplace, the company is more likely to contact an anti-union consultant.

26 EMPLOYER S ANTI-UNION CAMPAIGN 26 Expose the anti-union consultant You might send an open letter to the company, asking for: Names of any anti-union consultants Copies of any contracts A written commitment to refrain from such unethical practices Show examples of anti-union materials to workers.

27 EMPLOYER S ANTI-UNION CAMPAIGN 27 In summary Keep focused on the demand to improve working conditions. Informed and involved workers are our best protection against an anti-union campaign.

28 EMPLOYER S ANTI-UNION CAMPAIGN 28 ACTIVITY: Planning for the employer s anti- union campaign Aim: To develop a plan to prepare workers for the employer s anti-union campaign. Tasks: Select a facilitator and timekeeper. Discuss what the employer s anti-union campaign will look like. Review the work plan form. Prepare to share your ideas on how to fill out the form with the large group.

29 EMPLOYER S ANTI-UNION CAMPAIGN 29 ACTIVITY - WORK PLAN FORM TO PREPARE FOR THE EMPLOYERS ANTI-UNION CAMPAIGN

30 EMPLOYER S ANTI-UNION CAMPAIGN 30 Anything else to discuss regarding the employers anti-union campaign?


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