Monday, February 2, 2009

How to bust a Union

Recently AIG received $25 Billion from the bailout and used it to sponsor adds opposing the Employee Free Choice Act. That means that taxpayer money is being used to attack unions. If my money is going to be used to attack unions, I feel it is my duty to see that it is used wisely. So I will let companies in on the secret of how to stop a union from forming in their company.

1) The first step in keeping a union from forming in a company is to have a written, comprehensive grievance procedure that everyone from the newest hire to the company president vows to follow.
By having a written grievance procedure employees know that they won’t be punished randomly at the whim of any manager, it leads to having clearly defined rules on the work floor and the ability to have a third party look over any gray areas in the work rules.
Many companies complain that written grievance procedures get in the way of having managers randomly punish workers on a whim.

2) The next step in keeping out a union is to encourage employee’s to give ideas to help the company. Not only does this generate good ideas from time to time, but it makes employees feel like they are contributing to the success of the company and gives them loyalty to the company.
Some companies complain that this fosters a sense of togetherness making it harder for the managers to boast about their ideas.

3) Establish clear-cut goals and plans to reach those goals, then let all the employees know about those goals and plans. This lets employees know what they are working to do and what their part in the plan is. It shows them what exactly the company wants them to do and a concrete goal to reach.
Some managers worry that the workers will not need to be micro-managed and the front line managers will need to find new things to do.

4) Reward employees for hitting the goals laid out for them. This shows them that the company actually values the work they did.
Some companies fear that if they show their workers that they value the work that was done it might misinterpreted as meaning that they respect their workers.

5) Reward long service. By having employees work for the company for a long time the routine tasks get handled effortlessly and more time can be devoted to innovations.
Some Companies worry if a worker sticks around to long they will begin acting like they are entitled to be there.

6) Have multiple paths for career advancement. This makes employees fall into the roles that work best for their individual personalities. It lets individuals rise to the level of responsibility that fits them best, rather than have a one size fits all career path where people rise to the highest level of their incompetence and stay there.
Many managers feel comfortable at their current level of incompetence.

7) Finally, do everything possible to treat every employee in the company with the dignity and respect due to a co-worker working with you to achieve a common goal.
Many managers feel that doing that is the exact opposite of why they got into management.

Those are 7 steps a company can follow to keep a union from forming. There are many companies whose upper management feel that treating their workers like human beings is an impossible goal.
For those companies, my only advise is to follow Home Depot and AIG’s example and run your company into the ground then cry like Home Depot’s CEO, Bernie Marcus, that giving workers the right to join a union “… is the demise of a civilization,”.

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