Management has a huge incentive to stop unions from being formed (they can keep taking advantage of their workers the way they always do!), so they usually resort to some standard tactics hoping to scare workers out of forming a union. Don't be caught off guard by their lies - know what to expect by checking out some typical tactics below.
Tactic #1 Once an organizing drive gathers some momentum, supervisors usually come around asking for another chance to fix problems on the job. The company may tell you that they didn’t know you and your coworkers were dissatisfied. Your supervisor may well start treating you better and showing new concern for your
Fact: Every time workers try to give the company a second chance, they are bitterly disappointed. Companies only offer to fix problems, because they are worried you are going to take some of their over-ruling power by forming a union. Once the pressure is off, the company rarely changes. In most cases, your chance of winning an organizing drive is best the first time around. Don’t be tricked out of your first, best chance to make significant change.
Tactic # 2 Although it is illegal, the company will say that if you form a union, you’ll be bargaining from scratch; so that when you negotiate a contract, you may lose the wages and benefits you already have.
Fact: It is illegal for an employer to threaten to reduce benefits if a union is voted in. When you negotiate a first contract, you start from the pay and benefits you already have and build on them. You are the union, and you and your coworkers decide what to ask for in your contract.
Tactic # 3 The Company will tell you you’ll never benefit from a union contract because they’ll never sign one. Since it is illegal to say this explicitly, they say things like, “Remember we don’t have to agree to what the union wants in the contract."
Fact: Your company is legally required to negotiate with the union you choose, so they will have to negotiate if they want to keep their workers working. Every company talks tough before workers organize; don’t let them bully you. It’s in the company’s interest to keep its employees satisfied and keep the work flowing. Once you present them with reasonable contract proposals, management usually compromises.
Tactic # 4 Although it is illegal, the company may tell you that if the union is voted in they’ll replace you and your jobs by outsourcing to a non-union company.
Fact: It is illegal for an employer to threaten you or your jobs for trying to organize a union. The bottom line is the National Labor Relations Act Section 7 protects your rights to organize and makes it illegal for an employer to outsource your jobs and/or replace you for voting in a union.
Tactic # 5 Management may tell you that a union can force you out on strike whether you want to go or not. They may threaten that if you leave your job for a strike you could lose it forever. They may ask you how your family will survive if you are forced out on strike.
Fact: When a company threatens that a union will force you out on strike, they break the law. No union can force you to strike. No union wants to strike. Strikes only happen when the company refuses to bargain in good faith with the union and its employees. Furthermore, a strike is a decision voted upon by you and your coworkers. If the majority of officers don’t want to strike, there is no strike! Almost 99.9 percent of all union contract negotiations are resolved without a strike.
Tactic # 6 The Company will tell you that the union just wants your money. They may lie about the amount of dues and/or initiation fees you will pay to be a member of a union. They may also tell you, you’ll have to pay dues immediately after voting for a union. This is a Lie!
Fact: 99% of unions do not charge Initiation Fees, which are waived during a organizing drive. As far as dues are concerned, first of all, you will not be charged any dues at all until a Written Union Contract is agreed upon. Most unions also allow you to ratify your contract so you see what your getting prior to paying any dues, but typically, dues run about $8-12/week. In a "Right To Work" state, like Michigan, ALL DUES ARE VOLUNTARY NOT MANDATORY! When you compare your present pay, benefits, working conditions and the lack of job security vs. improvements in pay, benefits, working conditions and job security spelled out in a Written Union Contract, the cost of belonging to any union far exceeds the dues, which our members call JOB SECURITY.
Tactic # 7 Your employer will tell you “The Union can’t guarantee you one cent” and that you may lose your wages and benefits by voting for a UNION.
Fact: Right now you are an at-will employee and can be fired at anytime without any rights or Federal or State laws protecting you! The truth is with a union, you become a "just cause" employee, so that you at least have laws protecting your rights in the event of retaliation and the right to negotiate a legal and binding contract that indeed does guarantee you the wages, benefits, and job security that you deserve!
Under the Law, throughout the entire time you start your campaign, win your union election, are certified by the National Labor Relations Board, and negotiate a written union contract, the law states that an employer CANNOT unilaterally change any present terms and conditions without first negotiating them with your union!
Remember YOU are the UNION! and the last thing your Employer wants is to give YOU and your coworkers the POWER to enforce a written union contract protecting your work and your rights!
The TRUTH: Without a strong union fighting for you and a written union contract protecting your rights, your employer has the ultimate POWER to: fire you without just cause, outsource your jobs, change your shift, lower your wages, cut your hours, and anything else he can think of!
That is why management wants to convince you to not join a union! They keep winning until you and your coworkers stand up for yourselves!