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Articles  >  Training Tips

Best 3 Union Avoidance Training Tips to Maintain Union-Free Status
by Labor Relations Experts at Labor Relations Services, Inc.

A management team that is not trained on how to identify union activity and what to do if they are faced with labor relations issues is a huge liability that companies simply cannot ignore, if they want to remain union-free.

Simple and avoidable mistakes by management can result in tens of thousands of dollars in preventable legal expenses from unions who file Unfair Labor Practice Charges (ULPs). In addition, employers could be faced with punitive fines of $20,000 per Unfair Labor Practice, if labor is ultimately able to pass the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) or only the penalty fee portion of this legislation. If this wasn’t bad enough, uneducated managers and supervisors make it much easier for unions to organize your facility. Unions are adept at keeping their organizing activity “underground” and telling employees to keep all union activity hidden from management. If you don’t know what to look for and how to respond quickly, it may be too late.

The phrase, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”, certainly applies to training managers and supervisors on how to deal with labor unions. We have found, from over 34 years of teaching all levels of management from small businesses to Fortune 100 corporations, you can essentially prevent and stop union organizing activity in its tracks, if you train your management team on the following 3 topics.

1.Early Warning Signs of Union Activity.

Management should be fully versed on how to identify subtle clues and changes in employee dynamics that reveal the onset of union organizing activity. Any delayed reaction on management’s part on how to respond to union activity will impair management’s ability and stop labor organizers from obtaining enough cards to file a petition for a National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) election.

2.What Management Should and Can Legally Communicate to Employees.

Knowing information about labor unions and what you can legally say and do is not enough. Management needs to practice what they have learned through role playing exercises and workshops on a scheduled and routine basis.

We recommend training at least every six months to keep the information fresh and to update your management team on the latest in union organizing tactics and strategies. Without regular education, your managers and/or supervisors may hesitate when an employee approaches them and says, “I have been approached to sign a union authorization card, what should I do?” If management can’t respond quickly with credible and convincing facts, the employee may either believe that management has no opinion on whether they should sign the card or that management is scared to talk about the union. This blown opportunity can be very damaging to a company because your managers and/or supervisors may not get a second chance before your employees sign a union card or petition.

3.What Management Should Avoid to Prevent Unfair Labor Practices.

A management team that knows just the basics on what they cannot say and do, which is covered by the acronym “T.I.P.S.” (Threaten, Interrogation, Promise, and Surveil), is not sufficiently prepared for today’s more sophisticated and trained union organizers. Unions are spending more resources on organizing and teaching their supporters techniques on how to “trap” and “set-up” managers and supervisors to commit Unfair Labor Practices. This trend is only going to increase when labor laws are reformed and stiffer penalties are imposed on employers who inadvertently violate the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). To combat this new wave of organizing methods, your management team needs, in addition to the basics, comprehensive training on the subtleties in labor laws and current union entrapment strategies.

By teaching management union prevention skills, you can prevent unionization of your facility, avoid expensive legal fees and potential penalties, and have mechanisms in place to allow you to respond quickly at the onset of union activity.

For more information about training programs that cover these 3 topics and are updated with the latest in union organizing tactics and strategies for your business, contact Labor Relations Services toll free at 1-877-892-1962, visit our website at, or email us at