The purpose of this memo is to highlight management’s rights and course of action while conducting an organization wide drive to contain spread of unionism among employees. The memo also provides a brief overview on the existing reach and scope of trade unions, which creates a more evaluative and non- biased attitude for the leadership. The first point that I want to stress in this memo is that over past decades the disruptive force once carried by unions has almost completely subsided.
Today we see a minimal number of strikes or work jam by workers across the industry and even if a similar instance comes up, its functional overreach is barely prominent to cause any noticeable interruption in normal operational or production capacity. Unions have suffered in three major ways over the years 1. Their membership has declined considerably over the years and they represent only a miniscule number of workers today. 2. The philosophy and goals of unions have not been accepted by a majority of people and they do not view policies of labor unions or their objectives with any favor. 3.
Changed economic scenario where job security and continuity is running extremely low has also expressly given a sense of disinclination among workers to get associated with labor unions The observations listed above provide an important indicator that workers’ own inclination of associating with any labor union is running all time low and therefore, a mere symbolic gesture of disapproval from management would create sufficient deterrence for workers. With this aim, the memorandum now takes up each of the specific proposed action and presents a brief discussion around its scope and feasibility 1.
Speaking with individual worker regarding management’s view on unionism: If implemented well, this approach would be certainly effective in carrying management’s message to all the employees within the organization. By personally reaching out to the employees, the management would send a very strong statement, signifying particularly that it is concerned, approachable, and involved with the employees. If the management intends to try this method, following approaches should be considered a. Coherence and conformity: The information disseminated across all the employees should be exactly same.
This would help to effectively rule out any rumor or misrepresentation of facts. Further, any fact based observation or estimate should be based on published facts which can be further cross referred. However, it is not required for the management to divulge all the information and we can exercise control over the degree of data that we would want to share with employees b. Resoluteness: Employees should not misunderstand management’s decision to be borne out of fear or nervousness. The management should make it clear that this is merely a one to one information campaign.
c. Punitive measures: Employees should also be briefed about negative fallouts if they deliberately refuse to carry out the instructions. As a precautionary approach, it would be more suitable to get a statement of acceptance signed by employee after every de-briefing. This shall avoid any legal complexity if an employee is asked to turn in his/her papers. 2. Assembling all workers and seeking their opinion: By addressing all the workers from the same platform, the management would give out a strong statement of action and solidarity.
However, as this would be a mass appeal, the leadership should be careful in not passing any provocative or un-necessarily negative/threatening statement. The address should be positive, encouraging, inspiring, and it should call forth employees participation in the drive against unionism. 3. Making selective pay variation: The management is hundred percent entitled to implement a selective and biased change in the pay structure and rewarding system, to reinforce its message against any possible advent of unionism among workers.
But this strategic decisions should be taken as an indicative measure, without seeking to provoke employees, cause resentment or provide them with any dissatisfaction with the management. After all, workers join the unions only when they have grievances against management but no outlet/forum to discuss those grievances. 4. Replacing all the desk clerks by part-time work force: A sweeping lay off of all the desk clerks is unadvisable as it would create panic, stress and fear through the company, and mark the management as highly biased, arbitrary and irrational.
Moreover, it may push the remaining employees towards creating their own union, or joining hands with the national union, as these are the likely options they would take to keep their job intact. Additionally, the step may would make the remaining workforce to lose trust in the management’s ability to make rational judgment in a crisis situation. Also, the action is legally challengeable and if the company is dragged in the court, it would be hard pressed to justify this action.