Common Misconceptions and the Truth
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Management will always oppose a Union, that’s a fact. Your Managers and Supervisors will employ empty promises, lies and threats when you attempt to organize. In order to win, you must resist the lies and threats and set the record straight. If you desire to be in a Union read this page and discuss it with your co-workers. Management has been using the following deceptions to intimidate workers for years. Do not let them fool you!
Supervisors and Plant Managers usually come around asking for another chance to change problems on the job, once a Union Organizing Drive gathers some momentum. The company may tell you that they did not know that you and your co-workers were so dissatisfied. Your supervisor may start treating you better and may attempt to show new concern for your well being.
When workers give the company a second chance they are always bitterly disappointed. Once the pressure is off, the company rarely changes its past practices. Your chance of winning an organizing campaign is best the first time around. Do not be tricked out of your first and best opportunity of becoming Unionized in order to gain fair treatment.
Although it is illegal, the company will say you will be bargaining from scratch. Management will tell you that when you join a Union and negotiate a contract you will lose the wages and benefits you already have.
It is illegal for an employer to threaten to reduce wages and benefits if a Union is voted in. When you negotiate a first contract, you start from the pay and benefits you already have and build from that point forward. You and your co-workers decide what to ask for in your new contract. The objective of the Union is to make “Across the Board” gains which include better wages, benefits and working conditions.
The company may state that you will not benefit from a Teamster Contract because they (the company) will not sign one. Since it is illegal to make this statement directly to employees, the company may say “Remember, we do not have to agree to what you desire in any new contract.”
Your company is legally required to negotiate in good faith with the Union you choose. Every company talks tough and attempts to intimidate workers during a Union Organizing Campaign. Do not let them bully you! You must realize that it is in the company’s best interest to keep its employees satisfied and keep the work flowing once they are represented by a Union, as opposed to facing a labor dispute. Therefore, once the Union presents fair and reasonable contract proposals, Management usually compromises with the Union.
The company will tell you that the plant may close if they have to deal with a Union. They will tell you that Unions are bad for business. They will tell you anything in order to convince you that Unionizing will threaten your job.
Companies fold for economic reasons. The vast majority of failed businesses are Non-Union. If your company is really in bad shape let them prove it by opening up their books to the Union in order to reveal true profit margins.
Management may tell you that a Union can force you out on strike whether you want to go or not. They may threaten that if you leave your job while on strike you could lose it forever. They may ask you how your family will survive if you are forced out on strike.
When a company threatens that a Union will force you to go on strike, they are breaking the law. No Union can force you to strike. A strike is a decision voted on by you and your co-workers, if the majority of workers do not decide to strike, there will be no strike. It must be noted that approximately ninety nine percent (99%) of all Teamster Contract Negotiations are settled without a strike!
The Company will tell you that the Union just wants your money. They may lie/exaggerate about the amount of dues you will have to pay in order to become a Teamster Union member.
The improvements in pay and benefits that you will receive with a Teamster contract far outweigh the minimal cost of Union dues. The improvements in your wages, benefits and working conditions, as well as the dignity in which you will be treated are immeasurable! Teamster dues average two and one half (2 1/2) hours of pay per month. Any organization that works for you and provides results is certainly worth paying for!
The Company will try to scare you by saying that Unions bring violence and conflict to the work place. Near election time, management may purposely cause problems and then attempt to blame such problems on the Union.
Contrarily, the purpose of Collective Bargaining is to solve problems peacefully and professionally. With Teamster Representation, workers and management sit down as equals at the bargaining table, during contract negotiations and throughout the grievance procedure/process. This prevents violence and conflict, it does not create it!
The Company will tell you that a Union just takes your dues money to pay the high salaries of Union Elected Officials.
Union expenses, including the salaries of Union Officers, are approved by the Membership. Union money is spent solely for the benefit of its members. Your Union dues structure can only be increased by a majority vote of the Membership.
Your supervisor may suggest that you can attain a promotion or better pay if you support management and oppose the Union during an organizing campaign. A supervisor will probably tell you that the company will give special treatment and favors to workers who are “team players” who vote against Unionizing.
Not only are these tactics illegal, the promises are not true! Generally, any special treatment demonstrated by Management ends on Election Day. History has proven that many workers, who are tricked in this fashion, find themselves treated just as poorly as their co-workers after a Union Organizing Drive is defeated. So don’t be fooled!
It is common, prior to a Union Election being conducted, that a “Vote No” Committee mysteriously appears. This Committee usually does Management’s “dirty work”. They pass out literature filled with company lies about the Union. They spread rumors and insult co-workers who support the Union. “Vote No” Committee Members may be recruited from friends and relatives of management. Usually, they are promised special treatment or a promotion for their foul deeds.
Your Company knows that if you and your co-workers are Unionized, you can stand up for your rights, and of course, the company desires complete control. The objective of any Anti-Union Committee is to divide people and create hatred. Managers and their puppets may attempt to divide people during an organizing campaign with the hopes of defeating Unionization. You must always remember that Unions bring people together, not the other way around. Do not fall for the company’s tactics in this respect.