During a union organizing drive in any organization, it is the right of company's management to convince their employees of the potential benefits that not being part of a union may have for both the company as well as the employees. This is the crucial period when the union organizers, in this case International Brotherhood of Teamsters, will try to convince each employee of the potential benefits of joining a union. The usual tactics employed by union organizers are shortlist the opinion leaders and active members of employees and convince them. These opinion leaders in turn are tasked with convincing their coworkers to register in the union. In order to effectively mitigate the threat of unionization, management has considerable rights that it may use to avoid the union program. However, these rights have to be exercised within the prescribed legal bounds of National Labor Relations Act (NLRA).
NLRA is the main framework that outlines laws pertaining to the collective bargaining by management as well as the employees of an organization. NLRA was invoked in 1935 by the Congress to protect the rights of both stakeholders of an organization, the management as well as the employees. NLRA is also known as he Wagner Act since it was named after the introducing member of Congress, Robert F. Wagner. The main issue that will be addressed in this paper is regarding BNY Mellon's efforts to avoid a union program and still remain within the legal bounds imposed by different laws regulating employee-employer relationship. The convincing of not joining the union should be non-coercive and should result in law suits being filed by employees. Following is an account as to what are the main options available to BNY Mellon management for avoiding a union program that is currently pursued by International Brotherhood of Teamsters.
Management rights to avoid union program
The management's rights to avoid the union organization program are tightly regulated and the managers should not explicitly discourage the employees to organize in a union. Legally stating, the employer or management is barred from prohibiting the employees from engaging in a 'concerted' activity aimed at organizing themselves, the management has to put forward company's side of the arguments very convincingly and not having the threat of discrimination. In case of BNY Mellon, the management should act fast and swift in order to conduct an information dissemination informal meeting within each of the company's department.
The union selling associations, such as one involved in this case, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters always used under-the-cover representatives of their associations to get employees of a company on-board for unionization. These union organizing associations get their representatives recruited in the target company and then delegate these recruits the task of propaganda and effective convincing to be made for getting 30% of the employees to sign the 'authorization' cards issued by the union that is trying to organize employees. To effectively mitigate the threat of unionization, the management should inform all the employees across each department of the potential drawbacks of getting organized under union programs.
Since, the unions that organize the employees do not share the potential drawbacks; it is for BNN Mellon's management to reveal the potential disadvantages of unionization. Although, the unions pitch their sales to individual employees by stating that higher salaries, benefits, and job security will be the outcome of joining a union along with union's ability to call strikes in case of non-enforcement of their demands, these unions rarely share the complete details of negative impacts that can be casted upon the career or pay of an employee. Following issues should be particularly highlighted and communicated to opinion leaders in each department and through formal meetings. However, these meetings should only present the information and leave the decision to individual employees rather than obliging them to not joining a union.
If management takes a commanding and directional approach, this may amount to breach of NLRA. Following are some of the drawbacks of unionization that should be made known to the employees potentially becoming members of International Brotherhood of Teamsters union secretly. Most of the union representatives sell the idea of unionization by convincing the employees of power of strike and job security as a result of being member of a union. On the other hand, a strike has many drawbacks on the compensation of striking employees (Bronfenbrenner, 1998). Such as:
Severance of benefits and wages
Since the most effective tool of enforcing the management to agree with union's point-of-view and demands during a deadlock in negotiations on wages or benefits are strike, it is sold as a benefit that employees earn after signing membership of a union. BNN Mellon's management should immediately communicate to the employees that in case that unionizing employees give a strike call, the members of union cannot draw wages and the benefits being offered as part of compensation package. The company is not legally obliged under NLRA to compensate the employee's for the period they have been on strike. Neither does the firm continue providing benefits and perks associated with each employee's job. This particular aspect of being a union member should be foretold to the potential candidates for union membership.
In some countries such as Germany, and in Europe as a whole region (Locke, Kochan & Piore, 1995), the compensation provision in labor law for striking period are not that stringent. In case of U.K and he U.S., employees do not receive any compensation for the period work has been suspended due to strike by the union. This is a potentially strong and convincing argument that management of BNN Mellon can use to demotivate the employees for joining International Brotherhood of Teamsters.
Another important aspect that BNN Mellon, during the effort to demotivate their employees from joining International Brotherhood of Teamsters, should keep in consideration is that colored or any other ethnicity may not be part of the demotivation drive of the company management. The issue of ethnic background and remaining non-unionized as well as in low paying jobs in sensitive and the union organizing association, International Brotherhood of Teamsters may use this to their advantage. There was a similar instance whereby sandwich factory employees in U.K tried to keep employee paid low as well as non-unionized. A trade union then effectively got these employees too unionized based on their ethnic issue (Holgate, 2005).
Another union strike incident that went out of control also took place at the Century City district of Los Angeles where janitor employees registered with Services international Union Employees (SIUE) were staging demonstration for increment in pays. Although, the incident resulted in rising of pays, but at a considerable price was paid by the striking employees as most of them got injured. The demonstrators were injured during the strike due to police action (Waldinger, et al., 1996).
The monetary losses that result from strike by the employees are not paid by the employer. The time period during which an employee is on strike does not cost the employer else then the production losses. Therefore, an employee has to risk wages and benefits during the period that strike is underway. This may cause serious financial implications for some of the employees engaged in strikes from a union platform.
Non-availability of unemployment insurance
Many of the employees thinking to join the International Brotherhood of Teamsters may not be aware that in case that strike is called, the unemployment insurance is for the period of strike is not available to the employees on strike. This may cause serious financial implications for the employees registering for the union membership. It is often that unions use the strike as a bargaining tactic and offer executes their threat by calling strikes. The insurance companies sever the funds that otherwise may be available to the employee.
Limited monetary benefits paid by unions
Although, unions promise their members of the benefits in case that the company severs an employee's monetary benefits should there be a strike call. The actual situation in otherwise to the claim of union representatives and only those members, actively pursuing union activities, get the monetary benefits. The most common activity performed by the active union members is 'picketing'. The above mentioned are some of the potentially negative impacts of joining a labor union that BNN Mellon management should communicate to their employees. This will make clear the ambiguities and employees will be able to negotiate hard with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. The cultural and compensation related issues are most cited for avoiding union programs by U.K firms as well that remain union-free (Dundon, 2002).
Economic implications for the company
Not only is the economic impact of strikes and unionization on the employee but it is also exerted on the company's productivity and…