Union Avoidance

Summary

Labor unions are groups that have the legal status to represent the workforce of a given company, industry, trade, etc. In general, most business organizations have an interest in avoiding unionization. Once an organization is unionized, it must negotiate and, in most cases, come to a collective bargaining agreement with the union that dictates wages, benefits and working conditions for the workforce.

Signs that employees are engaging in unionizing efforts may include —

  • Petition-signing;
  • Filing charges with government agencies;
  • Higher absenteeism;
  • Talk of "just cause," grievances, etc.;
  • Silence or minimal talk with supervisors/managers;
  • Out-of-the-ordinary meetings at or near the workplace; and
  • Pro-union postings on bulletin boards or Internet/intranet sites.

Statistics show that employees are more likely to unionize when they feel they are receiving unequal treatment and a lack of respect, rather than because of wage or benefit issues. The following management practices may aid in fostering a sense of equality and dignity among employees:

  • Being a facilitator and coach, not a warden or dictator;
  • Avoiding arbitrary or heavy-handed decision-making;
  • Respecting employee autonomy and privacy; and
  • Exercising authority sparingly, thoughtfully and respectfully.

© WeComply/Thomson Reuters

Key Resources

For your convenience, ACC has compiled the following key resources to assist you in your compliance efforts.

For more try searching ACC's online library for "Union Avoidance"

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