Dealing with union organizing efforts
DON'T DO ANYTHING till you talk to an attorney. Also be sure to post "no trespassing" signs on your property. Otherwise there is nothing to stop them from posting hand bills on your employees' cars. If you can have your employees park in an inaccessible area they won't be able to get plate numbers. All of our employees recieved letters in the mail. This included our secretary's husband (car registered in his name). Be careful.
There is a shop I know with about 80 employees. When they unionized, they actually saved the shop about 400,000 a year as some of the benefits they had been getting weren't in the contract. Needless to say, now the employees are unhappy that they lost ground.
They have been hitting on us here in Indiana, too. The union rep has been by twice in the last couple of weeks. You know what this guy said? That the non-union GCs are ripping their carpenters off because they are charging something around $35 or $40 per hour and only paying their carpenters $18 or $20.
Contact your attorney. If he/she doesn't know much about labor law, find one who does. As mentioned, angels fear to tread here. Do not do anything to prohibit meetings, etc. off site. On-site is another matter. Post "No Trespassing" signs, also "No Solicitations Allowed" signs. This does give you some legal grounds.
If you do not have a section in your manual about unions and unionization, this may be a good time to review, and have the labor attorney write one.
If the shop goes union and you're required to pay union wages and benefits, some employees will have to go. This point could be brought out quietly as a simple economic fact. I'm not specifically anti-union, but sometimes they just cut off their nose to spite their face.
Another helpful tip is to classify as many key personnel as "management" as you can. Small raises to keep on doing the same job they're doing now will suffice. To my knowledge, management can not be unionized. In agreement with the others, "get an attorney".
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