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Home · Guides · Why Do Employees Form Unions?

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Why Do Employees Form Unions?

Unions are certainly nothing new. Employee unions have been around for years and they have supporters as well as opposition. Employers can take certain steps to ensure that their employees do not form a union. Taking this steps however, means that you fully understand why your employees may want to form a union in the first place and being prepared to solve issues that employees may feel are not adequate.

One of the main reasons that employees choose to form unions is for higher pay. They know that they are very likely to receive a higher wage when a union is formed. They also expect healthcare benefits as well as pension benefits when they form a union. In order to guard against this risk, you should take a good look at your current pay and benefits packages. Make sure that the wages you offer and the health and pension benefits are consistent with what others in your industry are offering. You may want to consider a slight adjustment in benefits or wages in order to satisfy employees who may be thinking of unionizing.

Of course, money is not the only reason for some unionization. Some employees simply feel as if management does not pay attention to them. They do not feel as if they have a voice in the workplace. If they have complaints or suggestions that they feel are not being heard, they may become dissatisfied with their jobs and your company in general and consider forming a union. Unions are designed to help negotiate with management to ensure that employees have more suitable working conditions and fairer treatment. If you are not listening to your employees then they may very well begin thinking about unionization. You need to implement a way that your employees can provide you with input and feedback so that they will know they are getting through to you.

The National Labor Relations Act encourages employees to exercise their right for collective bargaining. You cannot legally stop your employees from forming a union and you are not permitted to retaliate against them if they do. Federal labor laws protect the forming of employee unions and you are required to allow your employees to do so if they wish. You can however, begin taking steps that may satisfy your employees so that they do not choose to form a union after all.

Understand that there are certain exceptions to the rule for forming a union. There are certain industries and employee types that do not automatically have the right to unionize. You can check with the National Labor Relations Board to learn more about these exceptions and see if your employees are included in the exceptions. If not, you may simply need to reevaluate how your employees are paid and treated.

If you are providing your employees with a safe working environment, offering a fair rate of pay and good benefits and showing them that you care about their opinion and concerns, you are less likely to have issues with those employees wanting to form a union. Satisfied workers are much less likely to consider unionization and are much more likely to perform their jobs to a higher standard.

20.04.2013. 06:12



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