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Bosses are first line of defense against unions

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in Employment Law,Human Resources

Before a union election can be scheduled, the union must first obtain authorization cards from at least 30% of employees in a proposed bargaining unit. According to labor expert David Rittof, the authorization card process is when employers should begin efforts to address the downsides of becoming a union shop.

On June 21, Rittof told attendees at the Society for Human Resource Management’s annual conference that employers’ best ambassadors at the card-signing stage are employees’ immediate supervisors. “When employees receive an authorization card, they’ll often ask their boss about it,” Rittof said.

That’s an important opportunity. He recommends giving supervisors these talking points to use when staff ask about authorization cards:

  • An authorization card is a legal document written by lawyers.
  • It is the employee’s choice whether or not to sign it.
  • Read the card. It means exactly what it says, regardless of what was said to get you to sign the card.
  • If I was an employee, I would want to know how much union membership will cost before I signed.
  • I would want to know the rules and regulations of joining the union before I signed.
  • I would want to see what a contract looks like before I signed. Therefore, I wouldn’t sign the card until I knew far more about the union.

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