Union Organizing 101

What to Expect From Your Employer

Most employers do not want their employees to form a union. This is because a union gives employees the opportunity to negotiate a legally binding contract of employment, which can include certain protections that non-unionized employees are not guaranteed. 

When an employer learns that their employees are organizing to form a union, they usually hire consultants to run an anti-union campaign. Consultants will use tactics from a standard "playbook" to try and convince you that forming a union will negatively impact your life and workplace. These tactics include: 

  • Lots of letters: Expect to see an increase in communication from leadership during your organizing campaign. These letters and emails will usually emphasize how much management acknowledges and appreciates the work that employees have done, and might even admit to past mistakes. These communications will likely be signed by leadership, including well-liked managers. 
  • Anti-union messaging: Your employer and/or its consultants might attempt to paint our Union in a negative light. They will try to convince employees that "the Union" is a group of outsiders who are only interested in collecting dues money (otherwise known as "othering"). • Pressure from supervisors: Sometimes managers will encourage supervisors to initiate informal chats with you or share speeches about how harmful a union would be for your workplace. 
  • Love tokens: Management can suddenly implement changes to policies that have been known to be unpopular among staff. They might also provide unexpected wage increases out of the blue. They want to show you that you don't need a Union to get things done. The goal is to convince you that the boss is really a good person who can be trusted in the future. 
  • New friends: Administrators and supervisors will likely be more present and available to you than ever before. You might spot them in the hallways more frequently or see an uptick in meetings where they want to "fix" your concerns. You might even be invited to lunch! 
  • Captive audience meetings: Employees will be forced to attend mandatory meetings where leadership will deliver a speech prepared by an anti-union attorney. Employees are usually prohibited from speaking as this is not a free and open debate. 

Don't be fooled by these tactics. 
Having a Union at work is your right. 

To download a copy of "What to Expect from Your Employer" click here.