When we talk or think about the union decertification election, we quickly think of the tedious hard work involved in this. As management cannot help, the employees have to have the knowledge and fortitude to bring, maintain and complete the process. How does it begin? How do employees gain that knowledge?
I cannot describe how many times we have been in places where the union has accomplished nothing but trapping the employees for months and even years after winning an election. Collective bargaining was never really explained to employees and as a result the employees voted with emotion and not with the proper education of the system and concepts. Now, time has passed and the employees have realized that the union promises were an illusion. One thing is wrong with the picture, the employees are trapped in the process.
There are a number of ways to get the education to the staff, most of which we cannot address in this piece. The bottom line is that once a petition to get rid of the union is filed, the employer is very happy. Perhaps the union can go away and the employer can get back to business to help the employees directly. However, this is when the failure of the employer arises. Most employers want to handle the decertification process themselves or rely on labor counsel and let the process play out. How many times have we hear from the employer, “we have the resources for this.” We already know that unions win 35% to 50% of all decertification petitions IF the petition goes to an election and unfortunately we know most employee efforts of the decertification will fail because the company does not have the resources or they hire in consultants with little experience at decertifications. Labor counsel is always necessary and so are thee right consultants that can assess and have the experience with this process.
Employers forget the unions will fight the decertification. The unions will utilize intimidation to secure their votes. The unions will file Unfair Labor Practices for the sole reason to delay the election and block the election until the employer spends a lot of money on attorneys and the union can recover and know that they will win the vote. The employees have to be educated and assessed during the process and without any violations of the NLRA. As consultants and former union officials, we are very adept and up to date on what the union will do as next steps. Most importantly, we ensure that the decertification will be won, once the election date is set. More often that n not, we see unions that are so well prepared for the decertification vote, the company loses and as a result the employees are again stuck in the process of being trapped for another full year. Employees end up leaving, turnover is high, morale is low and production decreases.
As leaders in the field, we are the experts and can assist at any point. It is already a fact that we win more and the win in a decertification is in the best interest of not just the employer, but also for the employees who have been trapped in the process.