Giving Employees the Tools to Achive Workplace Freedom from Unwanted Unions
STEP 1: Discuss Issues With Your Co-Workers
First, initiate confidential discussions with your co-workers as you embark on the road to kicking the union out. By having these private discussions, you can figure out whether or not there are other workers who might be interested in decertifying the union.
STEP 2: Do Your Research and Answer A Few Questions
If there is significant interest in kicking the union out, you and your co-workers should answer a few questions. For example, Is the timing right? What makes the most sense: A NLRB-conducted decertification election or demanding that your employer withdraw recognition from the union? What resources are available to you? How much resistence will there be from the union?
STEP 3: Establish A Committee and Assign Tasks
Once you and your co-workers decide on the best way to kick the union out, it is helpful to assign tasks with specific goals. For example, if you have multiple departments, assigning "leads" (persons responsible for a specific number of signatures in a particular department) is helpful. Others may be assigned to gather research about the union or writing flyers. For example, obtaining union salaries, or other items co-workers may find of interest. [See our resources page here.]
Step 4: Draw a Picture of the Workplace
It's important to "map out" what the workplace looks like and who works where. Develop lists and charts so that your committee can assess the sentiments of the whole group and identify work areas where the committee might focus its efforts.
Step 5: Information Is Power
As your committee forms and undertakes some basic assignments, such as identifying who works with whom, and what issues each area might have, strategically lay the groundwork for how you will approach your campaign to kick the union out.
Step 6: Issue Identification
Your committee should identify the issues that the union has failed you and your coworkers on. These might include the union having failied to live up to its promises,selling out or siding with management, poor representation, etc. Once your committee identifies who cares about which issues are important, it is crucial to call attention to these issues. Usually, a committee develops informational literature that helps focus the campaign on issues that relate to the workers' wants and needs, and the union's failures. As the committee grows and develops, you will want to train committee members and co-workers on what to expect from the union.
Step 7: Sign Up
One of the most important aspects of the campaign is when committee members ask co-workers to sign valid petitions to call for an election or demand that the employer withdraw recognition. The goal of this project is to secure overwhelming support and a solid majority of cards before proceeding on to the election phase of the campaign.
Step 8: Kicking the Union Out
Dependent on the number of signatures gathered, the petitions can be used to either petition the National Labor Relations Board to schedule an election, or demand the employer withdraw recognition. [For more information on decertification election vs. withdrawal of recognition, click here.]
Step 9: Maintaining Momentum
Once the union discovers there is an effort underway, it may resort to tactics to pressure you and your co-workers into keeping the union. You and your co-workers should keep notes (or copies) of every union tactic or flyer used, then address them for all employees. If, for example, the union threatens an employee, make sure that the date, time and place, as well as what was stated or distributed is written down. Then, if necessary, you can file unfair labor practice charges against the union--and inform all employees of the actions taken.
Although union tactics can be distracting, it is important to keep employees focused on the main objective--kicking the union out.