Wednesday, August 13, 2014

What employers can and cannot do

Following up on the email LB sent yesterday I looked for more information about what employers can and cannot do in the context of a union drive.

I found this site (pro-employer) quite detailed and informative.

I have reproduced below the key parts.

What Employers Can’t Do

The following covers some activities that constitute unfair labor practices. Make sure that you don’t:
  • Discriminate in any way against any employee for participating in union activities. This prohibition applies to all aspects of employee relations.
  • Promise or grant benefits to your employees (such as wage increases, holidays, benefits or improvements in working conditions) to encourage them to abandon the union.
  • Make threats based on employee support of the union, including threats of discharge, layoffs, plant closure or discontinuing current benefits.
  • Interrogate your employees or prospective applicants concerning union-organizing activities.
  • Prevent pro-union oral solicitation by employees during nonworking hours and breaks.
  • Prohibit union insignia on shirts and jackets.
  • Engage in surveillance of employees to determine their views on the union.
  • Take a straw vote of employees as to whether they favor or don’t favor the union, except in special circumstances and in accordance with legally mandated procedures designed to protect employees. (Consult your legal counsel.) 
Although not necessarily unfair labor practices, the following conduct may result in invalidation of an election:
  • Campaigning on company time and premises within 24 hours of an NLRB-scheduled election. Meetings held off-premises may take place under special circumstances.
  • Reproducing and distributing official NLRB ballots and showing employees how to mark them.
  • Discussing the union with employees in a supervisor’s office, regardless of the noncoercive tenor of your remarks.
  • Prohibiting distribution of union literature in nonwork areas during nonwork time, such as in the lunchroom during the lunch hour.
  • Requiring employees to wear “Vote No” buttons in the plant or office.

What Employers Can Do

You may hold meetings with your employees on company time and property to answer questions and discuss the company’s position and unionization. Just make sure the meetings aren’t held in a supervisor’s office. Talk with employees at their own workstations or in a group meeting. You can also mail literature to the employees’ homes, stating the company’s position, but be careful what you say.
Here are some of the things you can say:
  • Describe the good features of working for your company, such as existing benefits, job security and steady work.
  • Remind them that signing union authorization cards doesn't mean they must vote for the union.
  • Inform them of the disadvantages of belonging to a union, such as the possibility of strikes, serving on picket lines, paying dues, fines and assessments.
  • Explain the meaning of the phrases “dues checkoff” and “union shop.”
  • Inform them of any prior experience you’ve had with unions and what facts you know about the particular union that’s trying to organize them.
  • Tell your employees how their wages and benefits compare with other unionized and nonunionized companies with less desirable packages.
  • Disclose the names of known gangsters or other undesirable elements who may be or have been active in the union, provided this is accurate information that can be verified by official sources.
  • Inform them that, insofar as their status with the company is concerned, they are free to join or not to join any organization they choose.
  • Express the hope that your employees vote against this or any union. 

No comments:

Post a Comment