Lessons from the 2006 SHRM conference: Union-Organizing Risks Heightened by Labor’s ‘Change’

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in Employment Law,Human Resources

Unions are dead. You may have been hearing that for years. But radical reforms by the labor movement have added new energy to its organizing efforts.

With the creation of the Change to Win coalition, an umbrella group of unions that broke away last year from the AFL-CIO, organization and collective-bargaining challenges are increasing, said Lynn Outwater, managing partner at the Jackson Lewis law firm.

Outwater cited four class-action lawsuits filed that week against hospitals in Illinois, New York, Tennessee and Texas, alleging that the hospitals conspired to keep nurses wages low. The union did all of the investigations and brought the information to the law firm on a silver platter.

To ward off a union bid, Outwater said, it's vital to communicate openly and often with employees. Workers should never be blindsided by bad news. Most important, make employees feel valued.  

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