Could April Showers Bring May Unions?

Miller & Martin PLLC Alerts | May 05, 2021

Author: Bradford Harvey

As you may remember from the movie, the first rule of Fight Club is you do not talk about Fight Club.  Conversely, the first rule of union avoidance can be actually to talk about unions.

While a union recently lost its election vote at Amazon, the company was surprised that one of the most serious organizing threats it ever has faced occurred in Alabama.  With their national numbers shrinking, unions have branched out, seeking to organize in different regions, industries, and demographic groups than their traditional strongholds.  Notably, President Biden vocally supported the union campaign at Amazon.  More broadly, he has issued an Executive Order reaffirming a policy to “encourage worker organizing and collective bargaining” and charged Vice President Harris with overseeing a task force to assist these efforts.

The most effective union avoidance occurs before a union targets your company, as it often is too little, too late once the union files a representation petition.  We are happy to partner with employers in conducting union avoidance training with supervisors to help them understand what they can do NOW to discourage employee interest in a union and what to look for as early warning signs.  The training also serves as a reminder to supervisors regarding basic respect, fairness, and communication that can reduce litigation risks and improve general employee morale and productivity.  Remember that with Amazon hiring employees at $15 per hour plus good benefits, the union's campaign was not focused on money. 

Please feel free to contact John Bode, Brad Harvey, Bill Trumpeter or any other member of our Labor and Employment Law Practice Group for more information about this issue which President Biden has promised to make a focus of his tenure in office.