If you think you have a union problem … you do, and it’s worse than you think!
With nearly three quarters of a year of NLRB “Quickie Election” experience, some retrospective observations and prospective guidance may be helpful.
The NLRB, true to its historical bias, is doing everything possible through these expedited elections to aid unions in building membership. It is not the same as it used to be. One of the great benefits of the old time constraints between petition and election (routinely 40-45 days) was the natural deterioration of momentum from the filing of the petition to the election. The shorter frame allows a union to more easily hold its momentum from the time of the filing through the election.
Another effect of the shorter campaign period is that the heretofore successful practice of starting with the least impactful presentation and building to the most impactful presentation may no longer be effective. Particularly in labor-intensive, fast-paced environments like hospitals and manufacturing, a front loaded campaign may be the most effective. It normally takes time to disseminate important messages to a large workforce. Twenty-one to 24 days will accommodate one or, at the most, two sets of information exchange. We all know paper based campaigns are ineffective; thus, active information exchange via meetings with voters can’t be supplanted by handouts and letters.
Now more than ever Ben Franklin’s old adage of, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” applies. Every employer should be looking at their vulnerabilities and potential issues regularly. These “Blitzkrieg” elections should be rigorously avoided.
Please contact me for more information.
William R. Adams, Ph.D.
President & CEO
Adams, Nash, Haskell & Sheridan