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Creating a Sense of Preparedness - Human Resources Toolkit

What if a union business agent shows up in my office with a petition or a stack of cards and asks to meet with me. What should I do?

Creating a Sense of Preparedness - BizKeys Human Resources Toolkit

What if a union business agent shows up in my office with a petition or a stack of cards and asks to meet with me. What should I do?

Should you find yourself in this situation, you are probably kicking yourself for not having used BizKeys to learn about why employees want to form unions and what you could have done to avoid getting to this point.  If your employees have signed authorization cards and you were not aware of what was going on, or more likely, your supervisors saw it but didn’t know what to do, you are probably wishing that you had used the BizKeys videos on early warning signals of union activity to train your supervisors.   OK, so you didn’t, but you are faced with the immediate situation and what you do and how you handle it is very important. 

Unless you want a union, do not accept the cards or the petition from the individual.   What he wants you to do is accept the cards and say that it looks like the employees want a union.   If you do that, you may very well have granted recognition  to the union as your employees’ exclusive bargaining agent. 

If presented with such a situation, tell the person presenting you with the cards or petition that you do not believe that a majority of your employees would voluntarily designate a union as their exclusive representative and that if the union wants to waste its time it should file a petition with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and ask for a secret ballot election so your employees can make a voluntary, uncoerced decision in the privacy of a voting booth. 

The next thing you should do is call your labor lawyer because you are already behind the eight-ball and will have a lot of campaigning to do to reverse the momentum the union will have established.   

For more information or any questions concerning labor law or related issues, please contact Bill Trumpeter at 423-785-8318

The opinions expressed in this bulletin are intended for general guidance only. They are not intended as recommendations for specific situations.  As always, readers should consult a qualified attorney for specific legal guidance.  Should you need assistance, please call 1-800-275-7303.ext 318.

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