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EFCA Webinar

Seminar on EFCA and Respect Act

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EFCA Webinar

  1. 1. Organized Labor & the Turning of the Tide
  2. 2. Why The Push For Labor Law Changes? <ul><li>Drastic fall in number of union members in private workforce since 1950s. </li></ul><ul><li>Unions feel they don’t win enough elections. </li></ul><ul><li>Unions feel companies have unfair advantage and violate labor laws during campaigns. </li></ul>
  3. 3. The Authorization Card
  4. 4. Current Election Process <ul><li>Initial contact and card drive. </li></ul><ul><li>Representation Petition - showing of interest: 30%. </li></ul><ul><li>Representation hearing or stip. </li></ul><ul><li>Election campaign period - 42 days. </li></ul><ul><li>NLRB-supervised election. </li></ul><ul><li>NLRB certification of election results. </li></ul><ul><li>Collective bargaining for union contract. </li></ul>
  5. 5. What is the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA)? <ul><li>Introduced as “bipartisan” legislation by Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) and Reps. George Miller (D-Cal.) & Peter King (R-N.Y.). </li></ul><ul><li>Amends NLRA “to establish an efficient system, to enable employees to form [or] join ... labor organizations ...”, implying that secret ballot voting is not efficient. </li></ul><ul><li>President-Elect Obama has promised to sign EFCA within 1 st 90 days in office. </li></ul>
  6. 6. Labor’s Spin on EFCA Video Slide
  7. 7. Management’s Counter Video Slide
  8. 8. What is the EFCA (cont.)? “ Card Check” decides union issue : “...whenever a petition shall have been filed ... alleging that a majority of employees in a unit appropriate for the purposes of collective bargaining wish to be represented by [a union] for such purposes, the Board shall investigate the petition. If the Board finds that a majority of the employees in a unit appropriate for bargaining has signed authorizations designating the [union] as their bargaining representative ... the Board shall not direct an election but shall certify the [union] as the [exclusive bargaining] representative [of that] unit of employees …”
  9. 9. What is the EFCA (cont.)? Mandatory 1 st Labor Contract <ul><li>If employer and union engaged in bargaining for 1 st contract are unable to reach agreement within 90 days, either party may refer matter to Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (“FMCS”) for mediation. </li></ul><ul><li>If FMCS is unable to bring parties to agreement after 30 days of mediation, the dispute will be referred to interest arbitration. </li></ul><ul><li>Decision of arbitration panel shall be binding on parties for two years. </li></ul>
  10. 10. What is the EFCA (cont.)? Stiffer Penalties During Organizing Drives and First Contract Drives : <ul><li>Civil fines. </li></ul><ul><li>Increased back pay. </li></ul><ul><li>More mandatory injunctions. </li></ul>
  11. 11. Can EFCA Be Stopped? <ul><li>Television Ads : </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Employee Freedom Action Committee (anti-EFCA) ( www.employeefreedom.org ). </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Americans for Job Security (anti-EFCA) ( www.savejobs.org ). </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. <ul><li>Legislator Communications : </li></ul><ul><ul><li>SHRM’s HR Voice ( www.shrm.org/government/hrvoice ). </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>U.S. Chamber of Commerce ( www.voteforbusiness.net ). </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Coalition for a Democratic Workplace ( www.myprivateballot.com ). </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>U.S. House of Representatives “Write Your Representative” service: ( https://writerep.house.gov/writerep/welcome.shtml ). </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>U.S. Senate contact information: ( http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm ). </li></ul></ul>Can EFCA Be Stopped? (cont.)
  13. 13. Can EFCA Be Stopped? (cont.) <ul><li>Grass roots advocacy : </li></ul><ul><ul><li>letters to local newspaper editors. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>educate employees. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>online petitions and “virtual march” on Washington example - www.uschamber.com/issues/index/labor/cardchecksecrbal.htm . </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. How to Prepare for EFCA <ul><li>Contingency planning. </li></ul><ul><li>Employee satisfaction surveys. </li></ul><ul><li>Market wage and benefit surveys. </li></ul><ul><li>More frequent manager training on unions. </li></ul><ul><li>More frequent gauging of manager effectiveness. </li></ul><ul><li>Always on campaigning - more speeches, one-on-one talks, letters to homes, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Policy analysis. </li></ul>
  15. 15. EFCA Prep. - Union Avoidance 101 Why Employees Consider Joining Unions : <ul><li>Believe union will get them better pay/benefits. </li></ul><ul><li>Job security concerns (layoffs, plant closures). </li></ul><ul><li>Perceptions of inconsistent/unfair/unequal treatment. </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of communication between Management/Employees. </li></ul><ul><li>Perception that Company “doesn’t care”. </li></ul>
  16. 16. EFCA Prep. - Union Avoidance 101 Reasons Employees Sign Union Cards : <ul><li>Don’t want to offend peers. </li></ul><ul><li>Feel they are being threatened or intimidated. </li></ul><ul><li>Told purpose of card is just to get an election. </li></ul><ul><li>Union organizers lie and say majority of other employees have already signed the card. </li></ul><ul><li>They want union representation. </li></ul>
  17. 17. EFCA Prep. - Union Avoidance 101 Detecting Union Activity : <ul><li>Small gatherings of employees, especially in unusual places. </li></ul><ul><li>The “grapevine” suddenly goes quiet. </li></ul><ul><li>Ex-employee starts hanging out attempting to gather employees in parking lot or at other employee hangouts ( i.e. , local watering holes). </li></ul><ul><li>Non-employees hanging around or on company property trying to engage employees in conversation. </li></ul>
  18. 18. EFCA Prep. - Union Avoidance 101 Detecting Union Activity (Cont.) : <ul><li>Employees use new lingo. </li></ul><ul><li>Increased activity during breaks, before/after work. </li></ul><ul><li>New groups form with new “informal” leaders </li></ul><ul><li>Employee groups abruptly cease conversation when a supervisor approaches. </li></ul><ul><li>Sudden increase in questions regarding company policies and benefits. </li></ul>
  19. 19. EFCA Prep. - Union Avoidance 101 Detecting Union Activity (Cont.) : <ul><li>Groups of employees bring complaints to you in a militant manner. </li></ul><ul><li>Friendly employees become sullen and uncommunicative. </li></ul><ul><li>Previously popular employee suddenly becomes unpopular / needled by co-workers. </li></ul><ul><li>New employee goes “overboard” with loyalty to the company. </li></ul>
  20. 20. EFCA Prep. - Union Avoidance 101 Detecting Union Activity (Cont.) : <ul><li>Poor performer suddenly (and inexplicably) becomes a model employee – establishing him in your eyes as loyal to company. </li></ul><ul><li>Anti-company graffiti on company property. </li></ul><ul><li>E-mails. </li></ul><ul><li>Union literature, cards. </li></ul>
  21. 21. Keys to Defeating Unionization <ul><li>Be Aware! Listen to what’s being said and watch how employees are behaving - Know what the union is telling your employees. </li></ul><ul><li>Identify the issues and perceived issues driving the union activity. </li></ul><ul><li>Address these issues directly (within the confines of the law). </li></ul><ul><li>Demonstrate that a union is not the answer to resolving the issue or perceived issue. </li></ul>
  22. 22. What You CANNOT Do NO T-I-P-S <ul><li>T hreaten </li></ul><ul><li>I nterrogate </li></ul><ul><li>P romise </li></ul><ul><li>S py / S urveillance </li></ul>
  23. 23. What You CANNOT Do (Cont.) <ul><li>Do not ask a non-supervisory employee to give you a copy of union literature - if they volunteer the information, that’s O.K. </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t do the “undercover” investigation. </li></ul><ul><li>Do not say the company will not “deal” or negotiate with a union. </li></ul><ul><li>Do not visit employee homes to discuss the union. </li></ul>
  24. 24. What You Can Do F-O-E <ul><li>F acts. </li></ul><ul><li>O pinions. </li></ul><ul><li>E xamples. </li></ul>
  25. 25. EFCA Just the Beginning? <ul><li>Employer neutrality. </li></ul><ul><li>Union access to employees. </li></ul><ul><li>Bar decertifications / de-authorizations. </li></ul><ul><li>Minority unions. </li></ul><ul><li>Bar permanent replacements. </li></ul><ul><li>Bar state right-to-work laws. </li></ul><ul><li>RESPECT Act. </li></ul>Union Wish List :
  26. 26. The RESPECT ACT & Supervisory Status <ul><li>Supervisory Status - Key battleground under NLRA because supervisors are agents of the employer and not protected by the NLRA, may be discharged for Union activity, and employers are responsible for words and actions of supervisors. </li></ul><ul><li>Supervisors - key to union avoidance because vast majority of such employees are on front line with employees that can unionize. </li></ul>
  27. 27. The RESPECT ACT & Supervisory Status Sec. 2(11) of the NLRA defines Supervisor : “… any individual having authority, in the interest of the employer, to hire, transfer, suspend, lay off, recall, promote, discharge, assign, reward, or discipline other employees, or responsibly to direct them, or to adjust their grievances, or effectively to recommend such action, if in connection with the foregoing the exercise of such authority is not of a merely routine or clerical nature, but requires the use of independent judgment.”
  28. 28. The RESPECT ACT & Supervisory Status NLRB’s Oakwood ruling clarifies meaning of : <ul><li>assign - to assign employees to a dept., shift, or to perform significant overall tasks. </li></ul><ul><li>responsibly to direct - exercise of employer-delegated authority to direct work, to take corrective action (and face corrective action) if the work is not accomplished. </li></ul><ul><li>independent judgment -exercise of discretion but does not include situations where policies dictate action or the action is obvious. </li></ul>
  29. 29. The RESPECT ACT & Supervisory Status The Re-Empowerment of Skilled Professional Employees and Construction Tradeworkers (“RESPECT”) Act - <ul><li>Removes assign and responsibly to direct from Sec. 2(11). </li></ul><ul><li>Requires that to be a supervisor, the individual must spend the majority of his time performing one or more of the remaining Sec. 2(11) functions. </li></ul>
  30. 30. How to Prepare for RESPECT Act <ul><li>Political lobbying to fight off RESPECT Act. </li></ul><ul><li>Detailed survey of supervisory job functions and responsibilities. </li></ul><ul><li>Push supervisory authority and independence down the line to ensure current supervisors remain Sec. 2(11) supervisors. </li></ul><ul><li>Combine supervisory positions. </li></ul><ul><li>Alternatively, consider use of work groups where employees govern themselves. </li></ul>
  31. 31. Conclusion <ul><li>Political climate means labor law changes are coming. </li></ul><ul><li>Diligence and preparation can ensure employers remain union free. </li></ul><ul><li>The time to start addressing these changes is NOW. </li></ul><ul><li>QUESTIONS ... </li></ul>
  32. 32. Stephanie G. John [email_address] (713) 335-2120 Lance A Bowling [email_address] (713) 335-2151

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