BEWARE THE MICRO UNION INVASION

From the desk of Stephen Cabot: In an effort to further aid organized labor, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) is considering permitting unions to organize small numbers of workers in any company. Unions may choose to organize as few as five to ten employees, while not bothering with dozens or even hundreds of others. Obviously, it will be far easier for unions to organize five to ten workers rather than an entire workforce. The result will be the formation of “micro unions.” The creation of “micro unions” would permit unions to focus on workers who have specific job descriptions, ones that may be easier to organize than other types of workers. If a union wanted to organize workers at department stores, for example, it could choose to organize stock workers, shipping clerks, and sales clerks without attempting to organize more senior level employees. Similarly, in hotels, unions could attempt to organize maids, busboys, waiters, and bell hops, while not bothering with desk clerks and various levels of managers. Such efforts, if successful, would not only give unions a foothold into various businesses, but it would give them negotiating leverage, for a “micro union” could call for a strike, thus making it impossible for the non-union employees to operate a company. Like an army winning one small battle after another, such a step-by-step approach would provide unions with an eventual opportunity to win the battle against management and take over the entire workforce. It is essential that management learn the appropriate survival strategies so that it can defeat incremental efforts at unionization. It will be one of the vital topics at my upcoming labor relations seminars.

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