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DO MY EMPLOYEE’S REALLY WANT A UNION? WHY?
 

DO MY EMPLOYEE’S REALLY WANT A UNION? WHY?

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DO MY EMPLOYEE’S REALLY WANT A UNION?

DO MY EMPLOYEE’S REALLY WANT A UNION?
WHY?

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  • Sonic University ‘Labor Unions and Retail Automotive’ Course Duration: 3 hours Materials needed: Participant Guides Flip Chart Name Tents Projector & Screen Microphone (need not be ‘live’) Clip on Name tag: “KSAH NEWS” ‘ Union Card’ hand-out ‘ Lawful or Unlawful ‘exam sheets
  • Sonic University ‘Labor Unions and Retail Automotive’ Course Duration: 3 hours Materials needed: Participant Guides Flip Chart Name Tents Projector & Screen Microphone (need not be ‘live’) Clip on Name tag: “KSAH NEWS” ‘ Union Card’ hand-out ‘ Lawful or Unlawful ‘exam sheets
  • What is a union? A union is a business that thrives on associate discontent. Unions are only as effective as associates are dissatisfied with their employer. When an associate votes to unionize, they are actually voting against their company. They believe that the union, not the employer, is most interested in their concerns. It is not a charity: unions do not guarantee employment to its’ members. In fact, many unions spend the bulk of their revenues in ongoing organizing activities, rather than on member benefits. Unions can make promises that it cannot deliver. Unions are not obligated to negotiate in the best interest of the employee. In fact, union negotiators sometimes concede employee benefits for union gain during collective bargaining negotiations. For example, the union may approve a lower wage for their members in order to gain access to additional employees. Unions exist in every state and are targeting new businesses. Many people think that unions exist only in the ‘Rust Belt’ or only target large employers. Our experience demonstrates that union organizing is occurring in many Sonic regions. With the recent economic downturn, many former union members have been hired by Sonic. These associate create the potential for union organizing discussions taking place in your break rooms and locker areas. Time: 5 minutes Course duration: 0:35-0:40
  • Change to Win is a coalition of labor unions. Their leadership is targeting industries that were typically not union markets in the past. They look at this data as ‘potential income, and will spend a great deal of money and time to unionize these associates. Positions within Sonic that appear most vulnerable are Automotive Technicians, Clerical Workers, Sales personnel and Detailers. Time: 3 minutes Course duration: 0:40-0:42
  • Prior to 1935, unions and strikes were not protected by law. Then, the National Labor Relations Act was written into law, granting workers the right to self-organize. As manufacturing and blue collar jobs grew, so did unions. However, as America has moved away from a manufacturing economic base, and toward services and technology, union membership has decreased. This laces the unions of today in a desperate situation. In fact, union leadership has state that unless unions renew their organizing efforts, they will become obsolete. Time: 3 minutes Course duration: 0:42-0:45
  • A brief overview of the National Labor Relations Board . It was created to administer the National Labor Relations Act , the primary law governing relations between unions and employers in the private sector. The statute guarantees the right of employees to organize and to bargain collectively with their employers, and to engage in other protected concerted activity with or without a union, or to refrain from all such activity. This means that employees are not required to join the union, except in some government jobs, or when the employer requires union membership as a condition of employment. Time: 3 minutes Course duration: 0:45-0:48
  • If you decided to terminate someone that wishes to organize, you would be guilty of an Unfair Labor Practice. In fact, The National Labor Relations Act, or NLRA, guarantees employees certain rights. These rights must be respected by our company and most importantly, our dealership supervisors. These rights include: The right to self- organization, To form, join, or assist labor organizations, To bargain collectively through representatives of their own choosing, To engage in other concerted activities for the purpose of collective bargaining or other mutual aid or protection The right to refrain from any or all such activities except to the extent that such right may be affected by an agreement requiring membership in a labor organization as a condition of employment. Make sure that you know what your state law is regarding mandatory union membership. However, as we’ll learn later, union membership also requires it’s members to waive certain rights. Time: 3 minutes Course duration: 0:48-0:51
  • What causes associates to believe that a union, rather than their employer, is most interested in their well being? Let’s review: Poor communications Wages and benefits Healthcare and retirement plans, even though some union pension funds are at risk. Safety and working conditions Workload and stress Dispute resolution procedures Job security and “at will” employment Network of family, friends and supporters Employee morale Leadership credibility Supervisors and employee treatment Input and shared decision-making Employee recognition and appreciation Complaint resolution If these are the root causes, would it be a good idea to ‘do the opposite’? Time: 3 minutes Course duration: 0:51-0:54
  • What is a bargaining unit? It is a group of employees with a clear and identifiable community of interests who are (under U.S. law) represented by a single labor union in collective bargaining and other dealings with management. Examples would be “Automotive Technicians“, “Vehicle Salespeople“, “Finance & Insurance Managers“, “Clerical and administrative employees“, etc. Bargaining units must consist of at least 3 employees, and must have the support of a majority of employees in the bargaining unit. However, the bargaining unit could be a small portion of a large company, where no other employees are members of a union. This is useful to know, so that you an identify potential bargaining units within your dealership. Time: 5 minutes Course duration: 1:01-1:06
  • Once the union organizer identifies the bargaining unit, they begin their campaign. Perhaps one of your current (pro-union) employees begins communicating with their peers. The union organizer may hold meetings, promoting the benefits of union membership. The union may even spread mis-truths about your company, Once the union believes that they have a good chance of winning an election, the card signing process begins. During this phase, your pro-union associates may apply peer pressure on your other employees to sign the cards. In some cases, unions will offer financial incentives to these ‘union salts’ to get more associates ‘signed up’. Many times, the union does not explain all of the obligations that union membershi p includes . Remember: the card signing process is one big sales job! This is the time that your leadership is most critical. Your must give these associates a compelling reason for not joining a labor union. Once the union has cards signed by 30% of your associates, they file a petition with the NLRB to hold an election. Since all members of a bargaining unit will eligible to vote (even if they did not sign a card), severe pressure is applied to these associates, to participate in the vote. This is a period of great turmoil in your dealership, and it lasts for 6 weeks. On election day, a representative from the NLRB monitors the election, and the outcome is announced after the votes are counted. If the union wins, all of the members of the bargaining unit must be represented by the union, even if 49% opposed unionization. They lose their right of self-representation. The union then approaches the management to negotiate the new collective bargaining agreement. Time: 5 minutes Course duration: 1:06-1:11
  • This timeline represents the 3 stages of union organizing. Time: 2 minutes Course duration: 1:11-1:13
  • Here is an example of how unions offer bounties to get your associates to pressure their peers. Time: 2 minutes Course duration: 1:13-1:15
  • This is an example of a union authorization card. If you see these being passed around, chances are good that a union campaign is in progress. HAND OUT: UNION CARD Time: 1 minute Course duration: 1:15-1:16
  • We have implemented a 12 point plan to most effectively protect our dealerships from union organizing. Let’s take a look: Clear Slide Time: 1 minute Course duration: 1:21-1:22
  • Clear Slide Time: 5 minutes Course duration: 1:22-1:23
  • The good news is that Section 8(c) of the National Labor Relations Act grants us certain protected Free Speech Rights. You may express facts, opinions or examples. Time: 3 minutes Course duration: 1:35-1:38
  • Here are some legally protected statements that you may use during a union campaign. It is legally permissible to hold open meetings with the employees to discuss how joining a union will affect their working conditions. Let’s review: Time: 3 minutes Course duration: 1:38-1:41
  • Clear slide Time: 3 minutes Course duration: 1:41-1:44
  • These are the Legally Protected Discussion Points that you may bring up during these meetings. Dues: How much are they? How often can the union raise them? Do you get full membership immediately, or do you pay dues during the ‘waiting period’? How dues are spent: How much is spent on benefits, vs. ongoing organizing activities? Union executives compensation? Perks? Fees: Are there extra charges for required training, benefits, etc.? Fines: Can you be fined for not supporting union directives, such as a strike? Assessments: Can the union levy an assessment for office improvements, union negotiators, etc.? Willingness to put promises into writing: Have you asked them to guarantee that the dues won’t increase, that their pension fund is sound, etc.” Strikes: Can you be called out on strike without your approval? Would you be willing to risk your income and job in support of an affiliated union? Pension funds: How solid is the unions financial management? By-laws: Have you read the entire union membership agreement? Constitution: Have you read the entire union constitution? Risks of negotiations: Collective bargaining comes with no guarantees. If the union accepts a lower rate, you are obligated to work for the negotiated rate, which is in effect for at least 1 year. Time: 5 minutes Course duration: 1:49-1:54
  • Many union pension plans are underfunded, meaning that retirees may have their benefits deceased or eliminated. This report was published in the Wall St. Journal in May, 2009. Clear Slide Time: 2 minutes Course duration: 1:54-1:56
  • Every day, we have many people enter our dealership. We welcome those that want to do business with us, or inquire about joining our family. We probably like to buy Girl Scout cookies, ties or even fitness club memberships from people that solicit these businesses on site. However, this activity may distract our associates from efficiently using their time. It also gives union organizers access to our facilities. They will often site the permissions that you grant to these other groups as the reason that they deserve access to your store. There are far more reasons to restrict access than there are reasons to have an ‘Open Campus’. Let’s adhere to our company’s Access, Solicitation and Distribution Policies. Time: 5 minutes Course duration: 1:59-2:04
  • We must post ‘Employee Only’ signage in areas where they will be conspicuous to all. If someone is in the dealership, and are not engaged in the normal business of the store, they do not belong on site. You may issue policies regarding the use of company e-mail to ‘business only’. You may also prevent associates from posting union propaganda on common bulletin boards. We must always protect our associates personal information from any non-authorized access. Time: 5 minutes Course duration: 2:04-2:09
  • Educating your associates both prior to or during a campaign is key. Make sure that you: Discuss and broadly distribute your positive employee relations/union/issue-free philosophy Describe/role-play card-signing tactics Distribute an annotated union card Explain union motivation Explain what employees can lose under a union contract Explain why your philosophy is better than union representation Explain what the Employee Free Choice Act would mean to them Time: 5 minutes Course duration: 2:12-2:17
  • It is advised that we begin communicating our Union Free Philosophy during the hiring and on-boarding of a new associate. We should utilize and implement: Pre-hire orientation program with Issue Free philosophy Communication of our Issue Free philosophy during the employment interview process-not just WHAT but WHY. New hire orientation video with Issue Free philosophy Consider sending orientation video to the homes . Joining a union is frequently a family decision. Therefore, family involvement is critical. Time: 3 minutes Course duration: 2:17-2:20
  • Could we achieve our Union/Issue Free objective, and improve ASI by insisting upon: Good communications Fair Wages and benefits Good healthcare and retirement plans Good safety and working conditions Low workload and stress Good dispute resolution procedures Job security based on clear objectives Network of friends and supporters pro- Sonic High employee morale Solid leadership credibility Professional supervisors and good employee treatment Welcome input and shared decision-making Well developed employee recognition and appreciation programs Solid, documented complaint resolution process Time: 3 minutes Course duration: 2:27-2:30

DO MY EMPLOYEE’S REALLY WANT A UNION? WHY? DO MY EMPLOYEE’S REALLY WANT A UNION? WHY? Presentation Transcript

  • – KPA CONFIDENTIAL – DO MY EMPLOYEE’S REALLY WANT ADO MY EMPLOYEE’S REALLY WANT A UNION?UNION? WHY?WHY? Thank you for joining us. We will begin at 10am MT.Thank you for joining us. We will begin at 10am MT.
  • – KPA CONFIDENTIAL – Thank you for joining us. We will begin at 10am MT.Thank you for joining us. We will begin at 10am MT. DO MY EMPLOYEE’S REALLY WANT ADO MY EMPLOYEE’S REALLY WANT A UNION?UNION? WHY?WHY?
  • Presenter John P. Boggs, Esq. Fine, Boggs & Perkins LLP (650) 712-8908 jboggs@employerlawyers.com
  • Questions • If you have questions during the presentation, please submit them using the “Questions” feature • Questions will be answered at the end of the webinar
  • Labor Unions and Retail AutomotiveLabor Unions and Retail Automotive 5 MASSIVE INCREASE IN UNION ORGANIZING EFFORTS IN CALIFONRIA
  • Common Restrictions on Unionized Workplaces • Scheduling and Overtime • Promulgation of Rules, Policies • Disciplinary Problems • Resistance to ANY Change • Subcontracting or Outsourcing • Closing or Relocation • Supervisors and Manual Work • Hiring and Promotion • Reductions in Force
  • Labor Unions and Retail AutomotiveLabor Unions and Retail Automotive 7 This could happen to you!
  • What is a union? • A union is a business that thrives on associate discontent • It is not a charity • Unions can make promises that it cannot deliver • Unions exist in every state and are targeting new businesses 8 Labor Unions and Retail AutomotiveLabor Unions and Retail Automotive
  • Unions Targets: 2010Unions Targets: 2010 9
  • The Rise and Fall of Unions in AmericaThe Rise and Fall of Unions in America 10
  • The National Labor Relations Board is an independent federal agency created by Congress in 1935 to administer the National Labor Relations Act, the primary law governing relations between unions and employers in the private sector. The statute guarantees the right of employees to organize and to bargain collectively with their employers, and to engage in other protected concerted activity with or without a union, or to refrain from all such activity. 11 The National Labor Relations BoardThe National Labor Relations Board
  • Sec. 7. [Sec. 157.] Employees shall have the right to self- organization, to form, join, or assist labor organizations, to bargain collectively through representatives of their own choosing, and to engage in other concerted activities for the purpose of collective bargaining or other mutual aid or protection, and shall also have the right to refrain from any or all such activities except to the extent that such right may be affected by an agreement requiring membership in a labor organization as a condition of employment as authorized in section 8(a)(3) [section 158(a)(3) of this title]. Your Employees Right to OrganizeYour Employees Right to Organize 12
  • HOW UNION ORGANIZATION BEGINSHOW UNION ORGANIZATION BEGINS • Initial Contact with Union • Disgruntled employees • Affirmative Union actions • Casual Contact with Union • Early Stages of Campaign • Establish objectives • Establish organizing committee • Amass employee information • Showing of Interest • “Above Ground” Campaign • Peer pressure campaign • On-premises solicitation • Mass communication (handouts, mailings, video presentations) • Union meetings
  • Signs Of Union ActivitySigns Of Union Activity • Employees unusually busy and excited • Employees stop talking when approached • Unusual employee questions about company policies or practices • Argumentative questions or complaints in employee meetings • New spokesperson among employees • Certain employees receiving unusual amounts of attention • The same employees seen going to the washroom or break area with several different workers during the day
  • • Evidence that terminated employees are hanging around current employees • Flash rumors (an increase in the number or frequency of the type of rumor which is designed to excite or scare employees) • Employees trying to irritate supervisors prompting disciplinary action • Abnormal absenteeism or upsurge in attendance • Excessive loyalty professed by young and/or newly hired employees • Unexplained decreases or increases in productivity Signs Of Union ActivitySigns Of Union Activity
  • • Presence of strangers • Poor workers begin to do good work • Good workers begin to do poor work • Items on the Company bulletin board, etc., concerning union settlements or wage increases in other companies • Attempts to obtain the names and addresses of employees • Awkward attempts by loyal employees to communicate with their supervisors Signs Of Union ActivitySigns Of Union Activity
  • Why Associates Choose to UnionizeWhy Associates Choose to Unionize • Poor communications • Wages and benefits • Healthcare and retirement plans • Safety and working conditions • Workload and stress • Dispute resolution procedures • Job security and “at will” employment • Network of friends and supporters • Employee morale • Leadership credibility • Supervisors and employee treatment • Input and shared decision-making • Lack of employee recognition and appreciation 17
  • What is a ‘Bargaining Unit’?What is a ‘Bargaining Unit’? • A bargaining unit is a group of employees with a clear and identifiable community of interests who are (under U.S. law) represented by a single labor union in collective bargaining and other dealings with management. • Examples would be “Automotive Technicians“, “Vehicle Salespeople“, “Finance & Insurance Managers“, “Clerical and administrative employees“, “Parts Counter”, “Vehicle Detailers”, etc. • Bargaining units must consist of at least 3 employees, and must have the support of a majority of employees in the bargaining unit. However, the bargaining unit could be a small portion of a large company, where no other employees are members of a union. • Bargaining units may also be created among multiple work sites or dealerships 18
  • a) Union evaluates site to determine likelihood of successful campaign b) Union organizer contacts voting group (i.e.: technicians) c) Card signing process takes place (need 30% + 1) d) Petition files with National Labor Relations Board for election e) Election occurs within 42 days f) If 50% +1 vote for unionization, union wins 19 How Unions OrganizeHow Unions Organize
  • How Unions Organize 1-3 weeks 3-4 weeks 42 days after Petition Approved by NLRB 20 How Unions OrganizeHow Unions Organize
  • How Unions Pressure AssociatesHow Unions Pressure Associates 21
  • The Union Authorization Card 22
  • 12 Point Plan for Staying Union Free12 Point Plan for Staying Union Free 1. Create & issue a union-free philosophy statement 2. Conduct a vulnerability assessment 3. Conduct a bargaining unit (departmental) analysis 4. Identify & train your supervisors 5. Lock down your facility --Non-solicitation, Non-distribution Policies 6. Educate all employees 23
  • 12 Point Plan for Staying Union Free12 Point Plan for Staying Union Free 7. Learn to better identify “Salts” and Union Plants 8. Perfect communications “up’, down’ and ‘sideways’ 9. Maximize employee involvement programs 10. Focus on the main drivers of employee satisfaction 11. Establish an Early Response Team 12. Contact Human Resources and educate management on signs of union activity 24
  • Section 8(c) of the National Labor Relations Act Says: “The expressing of any views, argument, facts or opinion, or the dissemination thereof, whether in written, oral, electronic, printed, graphic, or visual form, shall not constitute or be evidence of an unfair labor practice under any of the provisions of this Act...” What YouWhat You CanCan Do & Say:Do & Say: You may express: Facts Opinions 25
  • • “If you join a union, you cannot deal directly with our company over wages, hours or other terms and conditions of employment.” • “The union does not have to process your grievance, complaint, or dispute in a manner that is satisfactory to you.” (In fact, the union may not have to process your complaint at all ) • “The union may call you out on strike over an issue that you do not agree with.” • “If you are called out ‘on strike’, the company as the right to replace you.” • “The union can charge you union dues or have you fired if you do not pay if you live in a non-right-to-work state and there is a union (income) security clause.” • “The union has the right to put you on trial for violating its rules and, if you are found guilty, the union can fine you.” “Hey, boss, should I sign this union card?” 26
  • • “You can deal directly with our company over wages, hours and other terms and conditions of employment.” • “You (and another employee) can discuss workplaces issues with your supervisors, and that activity is protected.” • “You can speak on your own behalf, without needing to pay a union to do it.” (which may or may not decide to process your complaint) • “You do not have to be concerned about being called out on a union-called strike that you may not agree with.” • “You do not have to worry about being placed on trial by a union.” • “You do not have to worry about being fined by a union if you are found guilty at a union trial.” What Supervisors Can Say: Persuading Your Associates Not to Unionize 27
  • Legally Protected Discussion PointsLegally Protected Discussion Points • Dues • How dues are spent • Fees • Fines • Assessments • Unwillingness to put promises into writing • Strikes • Pension funds • By-laws • Constitution • Risks of negotiations 28
  • How financially solid are union pensionHow financially solid are union pension plans?plans? Union Pensions in the Red July 26, 2009 In April, the SEIU National Industry Pension Fund reported that its pension has been put into what the feds call “critical status.” In other words, it lacks the cash to pay promised benefits and may have to cut them. As of 2007, the last year for which it reported results to the government, the fund had 74.4% of the assets needed to pay its benefits. Thirteen of the bigger plans operated for the Teamsters have, together, a mere 59.3% of reserves necessary to cover obligations. 29
  • Non-Solicitation /Non-Distribution Policy The Company’s Solicitation/Distribution Policy is to give our Company’s guests the best service possible. In order to allow associates to provide the guests with their undivided attention, associates are prohibited from soliciting and distributing literature during working time. Working time is the time associates are expected to be working and does not include rest, meal, or other authorized breaks. Associates are also prohibited from distributing literature in work areas at all times and prohibited from soliciting and distributing literature in sales and guest-access areas when guests may be present. Company owned e-mail, facsimile machines, voice mail and similar equipment may be used only for business-related purposes and not for personal use of any type. Non-associates may not solicit or distribute literature on Company property at any time, and trespassing is prohibited. 30
  • 31 Controlling Union Access to the DealershipControlling Union Access to the Dealership Publicize and consistently enforce broad policies regarding non- employee and employee access, solicitation and distribution; email; and bulletin board use Secure access to facility Secure employee information
  • Educating Your AssociatesEducating Your Associates • Discuss and broadly distribute your positive employee relations/union/issue-free philosophy • Describe/role-play card-signing tactics • Distribute an annotated union card • Explain union motivation • Explain what employees can lose under a union contract • Explain why your philosophy is better than union representation • Explain what the Employee Free Choice Act would mean to them 32
  • ““Day One” CommunicationDay One” Communication • Pre-hire orientation with Issue Free philosophy • Communicate Issue Free philosophy in interview process – not just WHAT but WHY. • New hire orientation video with Issue Free philosophy • Consider sending orientation video to the homes • Family involvement critical 33
  • Making Sure That Associates ChooseMaking Sure That Associates Choose NotNot to Unionizeto Unionize • Good communications • Fair Wages and benefits • Good healthcare and retirement plans • Good safety and working conditions • Low workload and stress • Good dispute resolution procedures • Job security based on clear objectives • Network of friends and supporters • High employee morale • Solid leadership credibility • Professional supervisors and good employee treatment • Welcome input and shared decision-making • Well developed employee recognition and appreciation programs • Solid, documented complaint resolution process 34
  • Questions and Answers John P. Boggs, Esq. Fine, Boggs & Perkins LLP (650) 712-8908 jboggs@employerlawyers.com
  • Contact Information The recorded webinar and presentation slides will be emailed to you today including your local representative’s contact information. www.kpaonline.com bross@kpaonline.com 866-356-1735