The employer can take steps to legally restrict union activity:
Employers can always bar non-employees for soliciting employees during their work time that is, when the employee is on duty and not on a break. Thus, if the company cafeteria is open to who ever is on the premises, union organizers can solicit of duty employees who are in the cafeteria but not the cafeteria workers (such as cooks) whoa are not on a break.
Employers can usually stop employees from soliciting other employees for any purpose if one or both employees are on paid-duty time and not on a break.
Most employers (generally) including retail stores shopping centers and certain other employers) can bar non employees from the building’s interiors and work areas as a right of private property owners. They can also sometimes bar non-employees. Form exterior private areas – such as parking lots – if there is a business reason (such as safety) and the reason is not just to interfere with union organizers.
Employers can deny on off duty employees access to interior or exterior areas only if they can show the rule is require for reasons of production, safety or discipline.
Such restrictions are valid only if the employer doesn’t discriminate against the union, For example, if the employer lets employees collect money for wedding shower, and baby gifts, to sell Avon products or Tupperware, or to engage in other solicitation during their working time, it may not be able to lawfully prohibit them from unions soliciting during work time. To do so would discriminate based on union activity which is an unfair labor practice. Here, two examples of specific rules aimed at limiting union organizing (or others) activity.
Solicitation of employee on company during working time interferes with the efficient operation of our business. Non employees are not permitted to solicit employees on company property of any purpose. Except in break areas where both employees are on break or off the clock no employees may solicit another employee during working time for any purpose.
Distribution of literature on company property not only creates a litter problem but also distracts us from our work. Non-employees are not allowed to distribute literature on company property. Except in the performances of his or her job an employees may no distribute literature unless both the distributor and the recipient are off the clock or on authorized break in a break areas or off company premises, Special exceptions to these rules may be made by the company from especially worthwhile causes such as United Way, but written permission must first be obtained and the solicitation will be permitted only during break periods.
Decertification Elections; Ousting the Union:
Wining an election and signing an agreement do not necessarily mean that the union is in the company to stay. The same law that grants employees the right to unionize also gives them a way to legally terminate their union’s right to represent them. The process is decertification. There are around 450 to 500 decertification elections each year, of which unions usually win only around 30%. That’s actually a more favorable win rate for management than the rate for the original representation elections.
Legal process for employees to terminate a union’s right to represent them.
Decertification campaigns don’t differ much from certification campaigns. The union organizes membership meetings and house to house visits, mails, literature into the homes, and uses phone calls NLRB appeals and (sometimes) threats and harassment to win the election. For its part management uses meetings — including one on one meeting small group meetings and meetings with entire units – as well a legal or expert assistance, letters, improved working conditions and subtle or not so subtle threats to try to influences the votes.
The New Workforce illustrates some global aspects of union management relations.