Florida Council for Community Mental Health Afternoon Session Orlando, FL Proactive Labor Relations

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1 Florida Council for Community Mental Health Afternoon Session Orlando, FL Proactive Labor Relations LLP Solutions at Work 1

2 The State of Unions Today Membership is down from 34% compared to its peak Total union membership is now below 13% It s down to 7.6% in the private sector Only 2,000 elections last year vs. 8, years ago LLP Solutions at Work 2

3 Why the Decline? Loss of traditional manufacturing jobs Erosion of political clout Failure to understand changing demographics Increased role of government in the workplace Reluctance to join any organization Preventive action by employers Individual rights explosion Employers treating employees better Increased preventive action Complacency LLP Solutions at Work 3

4 The Union Response LLP 4 Solutions at Work

5 What Have Unions Been Doing To Try To Reverse The Losses? Different tactics Corporate campaigns Greater use of internet communications Neutrality agreements Companies remain neutral and don t get involved in the campaign, while unions continue to sell employees Unions are recognized upwards of 90% of the time when the employer remains neutral LLP Solutions at Work 5

6 Increased Use of Technology Web Pages General Targeted Chat/message Boards Confidentiality issues Video LLP Solutions at Work 6

7 What Have Unions Been Doing To Reverse The Losses? Spending money to change the playing field Unions spent $1 billion to influence elections in the past 2 election cycles because they want to change the rules SEIU alone pumped $85,000,000 and thousands of volunteers into the 2008 campaign Some of the largest PACs are union-sponsored LLP Solutions at Work 7

8 What Lies Ahead? LLP 8 Solutions at Work

9 How Do Unions Gain Representation Now? Showing of interest supported by 30% Supports filing of representation petition Leads to scheduling of secret ballot vote Typically within 42 days of petition Results are determined by simple majority Losing party has 7 days to file objections LLP Solutions at Work 9

10 Typical Representation Timeline Union May Send Demand Letter For Recognition Employees *Dissatisfied *Discouraged *Disenfranchised SECRET BALLOT ELECTION RECOVERY CARD SIGNING *30% (Required)/*60-70% (Targeted) CAMPAIGN PERIOD 6 weeks Win Lose BARGAIN Hearing Objections LLP Solutions at Work 10

11 What Happens Now If The Union Wins The Election? Bargain for 1 year Neither party required to give in or make concessions No guarantee of a contract No third party can force either side to agree to specific terms No time limits on bargaining LLP Solutions at Work 11

12 What Happens Now If An Employer Makes Mistakes? No civil money penalties Back pay only Reinstatement Limited injunctive relief Bargaining Orders in special cases LLP Solutions at Work 12

13 The Badly-Named Employee Free Choice Act 1. No more secret ballot elections Unions would gain recognition through card check 2. Changing the rules of bargaining Mandatory mediation after 90 days Interest arbitration after 120 days 3. Increasing penalties against employers Treble back pay damages $20,000 fines LLP Solutions at Work 13

14 How Will Unions Take Over Representation Rights Under EFCA? Employees *Dissatisfied *Discouraged *Disenfranchised UNION DEMANDS RECOGNITION INTEREST ARBITRATION CARD SIGNING *50% +1 (Required) BARGAINING BEGINS 90 Days MANDATORY MEDIATION 30 Days Hearing/Certification/Appeals NO ELECTION LLP COMPRESSED BARGAINING ARBITRATOR DECIDES Solutions at Work 14

15 LLP Other Potential Forms of EFCA Supporters may be forced to hold out until 2010 mid-term elections or give in to compromise legislation that may include: Expedited campaign periods (from 5 to 21 days) Equal property access for union organizers Super-majority card check Accelerated bargaining Dual purpose authorization cards Minority representation Mail ballots Expanded ULPs Enhanced penalties Solutions at Work 15

16 If And When EFCA Passes Even with compromises, employers will face new or additional burdens: New rules for what you can and can t say Rules for union rights to access your associates New penalties for unlawful statements New rules of bargaining New legal procedures LLP Solutions at Work 16

17 Be Ready For Anything! EFCA and will likely pass in some form It could threaten any business NOW is the time to get ready Be proactive, not reactive Develop your own customized action plan No need to panic Regardless of which laws get passed, EXPECT AND MANAGE CHANGE LLP Solutions at Work 17

18 To Keep the Union Out, We Must: 1. Communicate 2. Resolve Issues 3. Manage in a Way that Shows We Care 4. Be proactive LLP Solutions at Work 18

19 To Maintain Respect & Dignity: Show you care for employees Avoid inappropriate behavior Interact daily with employees Share information Support employee recognition programs LLP Solutions at Work 19

20 Maintaining Our Union-Free Status The simplest measure in retaining our union-free status is consistently practicing good, solid, fair employee relations. LLP Solutions at Work 20

21 What Employers Can and Should Do LLP 21 Solutions at Work

22 Free Speech Proviso Section 8(c) of the National Labor Relations Act states: The expressing of any views, arguments, or opinions, or the dissemination thereof, whether in written, printed, graphic, or visual form shall not constitute or be evidence of an unfair labor practice under any of the provisions of this Act, if such expression contains no threat of reprisal or force or promise of benefit. This proviso grants you freedom to your views and the Restaurant s without fear of reprisal. LLP Solutions at Work 22

23 LLP A Quick Word About Hiring As an employer, we are not permitted to ask questions pertaining to union sympathy or background, even at the interview or pre-hire stage. This does not preclude us from expressing our opinions about unions, or conveying our current policy with regard to employee relations. The key is to coordinate with human resources, and to adhere to a consistent program Solutions at Work 23

24 What Can You Do Now To Oppose Unionization Of Employees? Exercise free speech rights to tell employees of risks of unionization Employers can exercise these rights in a cardsigning drive and after a petition for election has been filed Employers are subject to certain rules: no TIPS (threats, interrogation, promises, or spying) LLP Solutions at Work 24

25 What Managers Can Say Facts Opinions Examples LLP Solutions at Work 25

26 Examples of Facts Union membership in the U.S. has been steadily declining since the 1950s. More than 9 of 10 workers in the private sector have chosen to work union free. Unions and companies agree on a first contract in less than a year in only 23% of all cases. LLP Solutions at Work 26

27 Examples of Opinions Flexibility is the key to our success. During negotiations, the union could insist on work rules that would limit our flexibility and possibly hurt our profitability. We don t need a union. We are better off communicating directly as we do now. Too often, where there is a union, there is conflict instead or cooperation. There are usually no winners in a union strike. LLP Solutions at Work 27

28 Examples of Experiences Supervisors can relate any experiences they or someone they know have had no matter how awful or shocking. But Supervisors cannot conclude an experience by saying, and the same thing will probably happen here if the union come in. LLP Solutions at Work 28

29 Union Proofing Checklist Promote, practice and live the Company s team philosophy Effectively solve problems Communicate openly and effectively Make fair decisions Promote and practice policies that protect our union-free status... and live them! LLP Solutions at Work 29

30 Union Proofing Checklist Recruit and select the most qualified employees Keep pay and benefits competitive Participate in training Communicate information about union activity in the community Have a contingency plan for initial responses to reports of union activity LLP Solutions at Work 30

31 LLP Solutions at Work Thank You Presented by: LLP Phone: (813) LLP ATTORNEYS Atlanta AT LAW Charlotte Chicago Columbia Dallas Denver Fort Lauderdale Houston Irvine Kansas City Las Vegas 31 Solutions at Work New Jersey New Orleans Orlando Philadelphia Portland San Diego San Francisco Tampa

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