- Australian Industrial Relations Policies
By Adam I. Watkins
Unions good or bad? Some folks love them. Thank the Lord for the union or unions might be the refrain. In other cases it might be pointed out that workers and employees managed to put in time on the job site only because the union saved them. To employers unions in some cases are tolerated whereas in other cases employers have made it clear to their staff that if the union opens shop in their operation they first of all 1) They pay more than union shops 2) If the union does open in their business the employer will simply close up Lock the door and walk away from their investment.
In these cases such statements may be said to be a threat to the workers which although being vocalized verbally is more than a subtle threat to workers that If you like your job and its pay dont bring in the union. Employees in these companies might be well to be on the alert and ask themselves What are the tactics used by union and union organizers to organize companies to the union cause which if nothing else should be noted to alert them to be on the prowl for a new and different job and employer.
It can be said that union organizers commonly try to put a company on the defensive and them it or them there. The aim it is sometimes explained at union senior management meetings and at H.R. conferences is often to mislead the company into underestimating the unions strength. It is like one giant chess game or games to speak.
How do unions work to accomplish this underestimation of their strength, power and expertise?
First of all they may hold few or even no organizing meetings at all in the early stage and stages of their drive. The deception is that often the real organizing activity and activities are going on behind the scenes. However the ruse is , and often it plays out successfully, that the company , firm or organization is totally or mostly unawares and thus does not begin its planning for a counter offensive soon enough and with enough allocated resources.
The second ploy that is often used is for the union bosses and management to challenge the firm on each and every new charge. The apparent goal and goals are to control the pace of the campaign and keep the firm firmly or at least mainly off balance. Its sort of like management versus union Ju Jitsu.
It used to be that union planners often used telephone calls at home, as opposed to calls during office hours at the workplace for union / worker union talk, planning and organization. Truthfully many workers and even bosses work on a Work time My time mentality whereas owners may feel that with the stake of their investment any time during day or night can concern business related concerns. However in our modern era of communications this can be taken even a step further with email and even faxes. Emails can be sent to private as opposed to company given email addresses. Thus the old tactics were often to call workers involved in a union certification drive at home by phone to run in silent mode. In 2011 this silent communication can be done via email either at home or even during the workday on personal ISP assigned personal emails or via anonymous email services such as hotmail, Yahoo or Gmail email provided accounts.
In the end it is a choice of workers, management and owners whether they wish or want to have a Union shop. It is all about personal choice, choices options rewards and benefits. However some of the time even if a choice is not for allocation of union designations that major positive changes can be negotiated, worked and agreed upon at the place of employment between management and staff with or without the human resources H.R. department being involved.
About the Author: Adam I. Watkins
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