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Unions mean more power for workers to bargain for better wages and benefits. For management, however, a union means less power and control. As a result, many employers tend to resort to both subtle and drastic measures to keep workers from speaking out. When workers stick together they can overcome management’s tactics and, in the end, make a better place to work for everyone.
Many employers respect workers’ rights and basic freedom to choose when it comes to union representation but sometimes they try to get in the way. It is important for you to know that you might encounter an employer that may attempt to coerce, manipulate, bribe, or even threaten you.
Some companies that feel threatened by the idea of their workers being represented by a union sometimes resort to various tactics in order to keep you from organizing. These include love tactics and scare tactics that, while opposite in their approach, can both have equally damaging effect for workers trying to gain an independent voice at work.
Employers may admit to making mistakes assuring that those mistakes will be remedied and will never occur again. Management may send out "love letters," which formally apologize for any wrong doings in the past and make promises for a better future.
Your company may implement temporary changes or improvements in reaction to a union organizing campaign. These changes rarely last beyond the campaign because the employer has no reason to uphold them when the threat of a union goes away. Your employer is free to make these changes after your store votes for or against union representation, but it is illegal for the employer to interfere with the campaign.
The attitude of your employer towards you and your fellow workers might dramatically improve. Management is suddenly very concerned with showing you how much they appreciate and respect you as a member of the company. Activities, such as lunches, dinners and picnics, are organized for workers and their families – activities that did not exist before the union began the organizing campaign.
Management wants you to believe that workers coming together in a union have little power and that, should the workplace become unionized, management won’t bargain with the workers or comply with the workers’ contract. What management doesn’t want you to know is that, by federal law, they must cooperate when workers form a union.
It is against the law to threaten your benefits as punishment for supporting a union.
Management may pressure your supervisors to subtly, or not so subtly, spread anti-union messages around your store. Many times, supervisors will use their personal relationships with employees to manipulate and harass. Again, under federal law, management is not allowed to promote, recruit, or fund any form of anti-union committee.
Management might organize a mandatory meeting in order to spread an anti-union message throughout your workplace, emphasizing that the company is a family and should stand united against the union. It is not unusual for anti-union videos and other forms of propaganda to be shown at these meetings.
Management may get so desperate that they hire highly paid union-busting consultants. These people are paid to keep workers from forming a union at any cost. Many times, employers pay these people as much as, or more than, it would cost to make workplace improvements that would benefit workers.
The reality of strikes is that it’s your choice. Unions will examine all other alternatives before a strike is deemed necessary. Statistically, less than 1% of thousands of UFCW negotiated contracts end in strikes. Only members can decide to strike.
Your employer may attempt to frighten you with talk about all the money you will pay if you form a union. However, these claims are false. When workers come together to form a union at their workplace, they aren’t required to pay any of the costs associated with it. You will pay dues only when you have a contract. But dues bring large rewards in pay raises, benefits, job security, representation and working conditions. The added pay and benefits workers receive through belonging to the union are much more than the cost of union dues. The dues go to pay for organizers, legal assistance, support staff, rent, materials, etc. which are all needed to maintain good contracts and adequate representation. No one pays dues until the workers have voted to accept a contract.
I thought I would send you a quick note to say that I just received my first pension check. Hopefully the first of many. I…...[+] MORE"– Jim Kammerer
Thank you very much for the Wild Tickets. It was my first game and I had a lot of fun....[+] MORE"– Kayla Brisk
Dear Mr. Utecht and UFCW Local 663, We wanted to thank you very much. Our daughter, Jaclyn Zirbes, who has worked at the Chaska…...[+] MORE"– Mary Jo and John Zirbes
Matt Utecht and UFCW Local 663, I wanted to thank you so much for the $1000 Educational Grant that I received. I was so excited…...[+] MORE"– Jaclyn Zirbes
Thank yo uso much for the 4 State Fair tickets. We went on Friday, August 31, with out daughter, Joy, who is an art teacher. She…...[+] MORE"– Suzy Blewett
Thank you so very much for the State Fair tickets. We went the first day....[+] MORE"– Deb Woodruff
Thank you so very much for the 4 tickets to the MN State Fair. I had a wonderful time....[+] MORE"– Diane Radde
Workers Union Local 653, I want to thank you for the State Fair tickets from the drawing last month. We has a great time!...[+] MORE"– Sandy Drake
Thank you for the MN Zoo tickets. We had a great time. Perfect weather. And we rode a camel too! So thank you again....[+] MORE"– Jim Cagle and Gary Peterson
Thank you very much for the State Fair tickets. I am really looking forward to going this year. I love the food! Thanks again....[+] MORE"– Susan Hernandez
Thank you very much for the MN State Fair tickets! I am looking forward to attending the State Fair with my family. The fair is…...[+] MORE"– Karina Monson
Thank you very much for the $1000 educational grant! Being an employee of the Eagan Lunds & Byerlys store I have been working very…...[+] MORE"– Karina Monson
Thank you for the State Fair tickets. Can't believe it is that time of the year again. We will enjoy all the sights and smells…...[+] MORE"– Mary Ann Mingo
Thank you so much for your generous donation of Twins Tickets and for hosting a table! I know all of the associates had a…...[+] MORE"– Innsbruck Foundation
Thank you for the 4 fair tickets. I will enjoy the fair....[+] MORE"– David Belille
Matt and everyone at Local 663, Thank you for the Wild tickets you donated to my daughter in laws breast cancer benefit. I…...[+] MORE"– Nancy Brazil
Matt Utecht and staff, Many thanks for the State Fair tickets and Renaissance Festival tickets you sent us. Our family had a…...[+] MORE"– Chuck & Vicki Johnson and Family
Thank you so much for the State Fair tickets. My family had an awesome time at the fair. Thanks for all the things you do for us…...[+] MORE"– Elsie Nelson
Thanks so much for the MN Zoo Tickets! My daughter and I went last week and had a great time. Loved seeing all the animals,…...[+] MORE"– Sue Godfrey- Rockford Rd
Thank you for the two tickets that I won on the MN United FC Soccer game on May 12th. I was able to use the tickets and bring…...[+] MORE"– Jaclyn Zirbes
Thank you so much for the MN Zoo Tickets. I will surely appreciate a fun day at the zoo!...[+] MORE"– Carolyn Essmann
Thank you for the zoo tickets. I can't remember the last time I went there (Probably as a chaperone for a field trip). Now my…...[+] MORE"– Mary Ann Mingo
I just want to thank you for all the tickets I received in the past. The grandkids and I have a great time with all of them.…...[+] MORE"– Dorothy
Thanks for donating the Bears vs Vikings tickets. I was lucky enough to win and the seats were awesome! I took my sister who is a…...[+] MORE"– Wendy Eck
Thank you so much for the great seats to the MN Wild game on 12-27. It was a hard-fought game against the Dallas Stars whom we…...[+] MORE"– Joanne and Dan Irvin
UFCW Local 663 - Thank you so much for the Kowalski’s gift cards that I won. I was very surprised, thanks again....[+] MORE"– Jane
Thank you so much for the gift cards I received at the Health Fair. I thought the Health Fair was a huge success. It was…...[+] MORE"– Carol
UFCW Local 663 - Thank you for the educational grant, it is much needed and will be put towards my expenses here at NDSU....[+] MORE"– Andrea
UFCW Local 663- Thank you so much for gifts at Christmas time. The gift cards were much appreciated. To all of you at Local 663,…...[+] MORE"– Jacos
I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for the circus tickets. It was a generous gift and much appreciated. It was a…...[+] MORE"– Mary
Just a note to thank all who put together the great fishing tourney and Hot Dog picnic. It was a blast for my family and we won a…...[+] MORE"– Larry Kavanagh
I wish to thank you for your representation for union support shops at the Crow Wing County Fair. Your message to support “people”…...[+] MORE"– Janet