M3D2: Union Organizing Campaigns
Image of a maid making bed in a hotel room
Before you begin this activity, be sure that you have:
Read Textbook Chapter 6
Reviewed the PowerPoints for:
Chapter 6 [PDF file size 8.8 MB]
Reviewed the Videos:
Union Organizing at Hyatt Hotels
The videos and AFL-CIO article highlight the UNITE campaign to organize hotel workers at the Hyatt Hotels across the U.S. [There are many videos and articles posted on YouTube regarding this campaign; you may find it helpful to search for more recent ones.] This campaign highlights key elements of an organizing campaign. In this discussion, as a class, you will identify these elements and explain their importance in a union organizing campaign.
This discussion will help you understand how the union gains the right to represent workers and the steps that each party (union and management) may take to convince workers to vote for/against the union.
Union organizing drives are often characterized by high emotion and tension. As your text explains, the behavior of both the union and management are regulated through the labor laws and enforced through the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). It is acceptable for management to communicate its opposition to the union as seen in the video produced by Hyatt Hotels. It is also acceptable for unions to recruit workers to help solicit other employees in the workplace.
In your initial post please address the following:
Based on the information presented on the Hyatt organizing drive, identify an action by either management or the union that is allowed or not allowed under the rules for a union organizing campaign.
Explain why it is allowed or not allowed. [Each student must identify a unique action or provide further explanation of an action already identified.] You must provide support for your response by referencing information in the textbook or other academic source.
Once you have posted your response, you must also read through your classmates’ posts. From the responses choose some that you find interesting and respond substantively to them. You are also responsible for responding to students who post comments regarding your initial posts. The goal is to create a dialog among the class.
See the Course Calendar for due dates for posts and responses.
Consult the Discussion Posting Guide for information about writing your discussion posts. It is recommended that you write your post in a document first. Check your work and correct any spelling or grammatical errors. When you are ready to make your initial post, click on “Reply.” Then copy/paste the text into the message field, and click “Post Reply.”
To respond to a peer, click “Reply” beneath her or his post and continue as with an initial post.
This discussion will be graded using the discussion board rubric. Please review this rubric, located on the Rubrics page within the Start Here module of the course, prior to beginning your work to ensure your participation meets the criteria in place for this discussion. All discussions combined are worth 20% of your final course grade.
Union Organizing Campaigns
During a union organizing campaign, the management of an organization (or the employer) must be careful in what they communicate to the employees. The management needs to be careful not to give implied promises to employees (Freeman & Kleiner, 1990). For example, if the management of a company tells the workers that improving their current pay is “absolutely possible” without the workers joining a union, the management would be on the wrong side of the law. The statement would be unlawful since the management impliedly promised the company’s workers better pay or pay rise if they were to reject the labor union. Implied promises are not allowed when conducting union organizing campaigns (Mehta & Theodore, 2005). Communicating the wrong thing may have dire consequences on the management. The management is supposed to use statements that do not make any promises in them. For instance, the management should use statements such as “We will bargain with the union but we have no duty to agree to anything”. This way, there is no implied promise that the pay or working conditions will be improved.
Freeman, R. B., & Kleiner, M. M. (1990). Employer behavior in the face of union organizing drives. ILR Review, 43(4), 351-365.
Mehta, C., & Theodore, N. (2005). Undermining the right to organize: Employer behavior during union representation campaigns. A report for American Rights at Work, Washington DC. Retrieved November 1, 2007.