Memo for senior management
Memo for senior management
You have been hired by XYZ as a consultant. They are currently facing a union organizing campaign. You have been asked to write a briefing memo for senior management. Your memo must address:
a. What are the basic differences, from the employer’s viewpoint, in operating in a union-free environment vs. a unionized environment?
b. What are management representatives permitted to say and do during the campaign? What, if any, actions or statements are prohibited?
In responding, you must use three references. They should be from a scholarly journal or credible news source from within the past three years. Arranges ideas clearly and logically to support the purpose or argument; ideas flow smoothly and are effectively linked; reader can follow the line of reasoning
Arranges ideas adequately to support the purpose or argument; links between ideas are generally clear; reader can follow the line of reasoning for the most part
Arranges ideas adequately, in general, although ideas sometimes fail to make sense together; reader remains fairly clear about what writer intends
Arranges ideas illogically; ideas frequently fail to make sense together; reader cannot identify a line of reasoning and becomes frustrated or loses interest
Gives very specific information. Addressed all of the assignment components. Clearly illustrates critical and reflective thinking.
Well thought-out response.
Contains specific information. Addressed all of the assignment components. Is relatively detailed. Shows some critical and reflective thinking. Relatively well thought-out response.
Has some specific information. Addressed many of the assignment components. Not detailed.
Poorly thought-out response.
Is vague and does not address all assignment components. No evidence of having given the assignment real thought.
Execution is excellent. No grammar or writing errors. Reads easily. Is well organized. Includes two additional scholarly, relevant sources.
Well executed. Few grammar or writing errors. Reads easily.
Is fairly well organized. Sources are either not all scholarly or not all relevant.
Execution is poor. Many grammar or writing errors. Hard to read. Poorly organized.
Falls short of the required length for the assignment. Very poorly written. Very difficult to read. No organization is evident. Reads like a last minute effort.
TO: XYZ Ltd Senior Management
FROM: …………………… (name) …..
DATE: January 9, 2018
SUBJECT: Union Organizing Campaign
Unionization can present a major overhaul of an organization’s human resource management practices; hence the need to effectively delineate the likely impact a unionized environment would have on the XYZ. The Company is currently facing a union organizing campaign, and this presents two possibilities: a unionized environment or a non-unionized environment depending on whether the campaign is successful. This calls for an understanding the consequences of each possibility. In this memo, the basic differences between a union-free environment and a unionized environment are discussed. Besides, a union organizing campaign is a highly sensitive undertaking, and it is of great importance that XYZ management representatives are aware of what to say or do during the campaign and what actions or statements are prohibited during the period. This memo provides adequate information regarding what is expected of management representatives during the union organizing campaign.
Union-free environment vs. a unionized environment
The main difference between operating in a union-free environment and a unionized environment is ingrained in the organization’s ability to control its human resources (Ashe-Edmunds, 2018). In a union-free environment, the organization has the freedom to manage its employees using their terms and conditions because there is no third party involved in making human resource related decisions. In a unionized environment, employees are represented by unions, which influence management decisions regarding human resource issues including salaries, benefits, working conditions, and employee dismissal among others. When workers are represented by a union, it is likely that their wages will rise and there is bound to be greater demands on the management as the union attempts to bargain better terms and conditions for its members (Ashe-Edmunds, 2018). In this case, employers desire a non-unionized environment because they can determine their wages and working conditions without interference.
The second difference is the ability to maintain a stable working environment. Ashe-Edmunds (2018) notes that unionized members are more likely to go on strike over unmet demands compared to non-unionized members. The law allows union members to strike and this limits employers’ power over their staff. It also brings negative publicity for an organization because it is seen as not meeting employee needs. In a non-unionized environment, such occurrences are limited because the organization is in control of its workers.
The third difference lies in the costs incurred by the organization in each environment. Maintaining a non-unionized workforce is likely to be cheaper than a unionized workforce not only because the company determines employee salary but also because the organization does not spend its resources on lawsuits and arbitrations. Unions are constantly seeking better terms for their members and have a role in protecting their rights and interests (Woodruff, 2018). This means more grievances and possible lawsuits on different accounts such as termination, discrimination, harassment and demotion among others.
The fourth difference is predictability in human resource costs. Collective bargaining in a unionized environment could play an imperative role in maintaining the stability of the organization through predictable costs (Woodruff, 2018). When organizations and unions negotiate collective terms and wages, it becomes easier to manage costs. Furthermore, the labor contracts often last for several years, and this influences accuracy in budgetary predictions and ease in managing compensation and benefits administration (Hart, 2017). In a non-unionized environment, human resource costs are likely to keep changing and are therefore unpredictable.
Finally, a unionized and a non-unionized environment differ regarding employee contact. Unionized environments create a single point of contact based on collective negotiation while non-unionized environments necessitate that the organization deal with each employee individually (Hart, 2018). This makes a unionized workforce easier to manage through a simplified salary negotiation process, more effective communication through the union and better handling of disciplinary issues.
What is permitted and what is prohibited during the union organizing campaign?
XYZ must take caution in ensuring that the management approaches the campaign in a way that does not jeopardize the company. To begin with, it is important to note that workers have the right to join a union and the management must not take any actions aimed at forcefully stopping the campaign (NFIB, 2018). Doing so could lead to a violation of labor law and thus land the organization in an unfavorable situation including labor lawsuits (Management Report, 2015). However, the management is allowed to create counter-union campaigns with the view of discouraging employees from voting or joining the union. These may include pro-company campaigns which are aimed at showing that the company effectively caters to employee needs and therefore no need for a union; antiunion campaigns aimed at showing employees the disadvantages of unions or a particular union in question; and low-key campaigns in which the management calls on employees to not to vote for unions but also reminds them that it is their right.
The following present more of the permitted and prohibited actions during an organizing campaign as provided by Kunkell and Hanchett (2015) and NFIB (2018).
What is permitted?
- Communicate to employees that the company is opposed to unionization.
- Educating workers on their rights, including the right not to join a union or interact with union organizers.
- Educating employees on union costs such as initiation fees, dues, and possible fines.
- Telling employees that they risk losing their jobs when they engage in strikes initiated by the unions.
- Asking employees to encourage others not to vote for the union.
- Pointing out misleading information passed during the campaign.
- Providing a track record of unions and union officials to show potential problems of having a union.
What is prohibited?
- Promising increased wages and benefits, enhanced working conditions, or special favors in return for employees not joining or voting the union.
- Threatening employees, such as with job loss or reduced earnings or intimidating them in such a way that they do not exercise their right to belong to a union.
- Telling employees that the organization would have added their wages had it not been for the union campaign.
- Discriminating against employees who have participated in the campaign.
- Soliciting employees to return union authorization cards
- Visiting employees at home to discourage them from voting in the union.
- Prohibiting employees from wearing badges associated with the union.
Through observing the above provisions, the management representatives at XYZ will ensure that the campaign runs smoothly and hopefully to their desired outcome. It will also ensure that the company is not entangled in any legal implications from interfering with the campaign.
Ashe-Edmunds, S. (2018). The Disadvantages of Union Membership From an Employer’s
Perspective. Retrieved from mallbusiness.chron.com/disadvantages-union-membership-employers-perspective-33242.html
Kunkell, R. & Hanchett, T. (2015). What Employers Can and Cannot Say During a Union
Organizing Campaign. Retrieved from https://www.stoelrivesworldofemployment.com/2015/10/articles/labor/what-employers-can-and-cannot-say-during-a-union-organizing-campaign/
Management Report. (2015). Authorization Cards. Management Report for Nonunion
Organizations, 38(9), 1-8.
NFIB. (2018). NFIB guide to Managing Unionization Efforts. Retrieved from
Woodruff, J. (2018). Advantages & Disadvantages of Unions for Employers. Retrieved from
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