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Articles  >  What Management Can Legally Do

What Management Can Legally Do During a Union Organizing Campaign, by Labor Experts at Labor Relations Services, Inc.

Management is free to communicate with employees at almost any time. Communications can take the form of simple conversations, formal speeches, and writings (handbills, letters, posters, newsletters, etc.). It is also perfectly legal to express your opinions, views and arguments to employees. In addition, The National Labor Relations Act, under Section 8(c), guarantees you the right of Freedom of Speech.

Memorizing the acronym F.O.E. is an easy way to remember what you "CAN DO".

F – Facts: You can tell employees anything factual.

O - Opinions: You can give your opinion, as long as it is not used as a threat or promise.

E – Experiences: You can talk about any experiences you or others you know have had with unions.

Examples of what you CAN do:

  • There is no ban on talking honestly to employees about the union or unionization. It is legal to actively campaign against the union.
  • Tell employees that you are always willing to discuss with them unionism or any other subject.
  • Tell employees about the benefits they presently enjoy and the progress that has been made in recent years.
  • Tell employees how wages, benefits and working conditions compare with other employers.
  • Tell employees of the disadvantages that may result from belonging to a union. (For example, loss of income due to a strike, requirement to serve on a picket line, expenses of dues, fines, assessments, initiation fees, loss of individual freedom).
  • Tell employees that no union can make an employer agree to anything it does not wish to do, or pay any more than it is willing or able to pay.
  • Tell employees that a union can call strikes over things that would benefit the union rather than employees, such as trying to force the employer to deduct union dues from employees' paychecks.
  • Tell employees that they may be asked to strike in support of others who they didn't know and/or over matters that do not concern them.
  • Tell employees that the law permits the employer to hire permanent replacements for anyone who engages in an economic strike.
  • Tell employees that they are free to join or not join a union without prejudice to their status with the employer. But, if the union wins an election, union membership can be compulsory.
  • Tell employees that merely signing a union authorization card or application for membership does not mean they must vote for the union in an election.
  • Tell employees that the employer can continue to layoff, discipline and discharge for cause as long as it is done without regard to union membership or non-union membership.
  • Tell employees that the employer can continue to enforce rules in accordance with customary action, irrespective of the employee's membership or activity in a union.
  • Tell employees that the employer can continue its policy and practices regarding assignments of preferred work, overtime, and shift preference, so long as such are done without reference to the employee's participation or nonparticipation in union activities.
  • Tell employees anything you know about any union or its officers.
  • Tell employees about any bad experiences you or others you know may have had with unions.
  • Tell employees about any untrue or misleading statements made through an organizer, or by handbill or through any union propaganda. You can always give employees correct facts.
  • Tell employees about undesirable activities in unions. (Relate only established facts).
  • Tell employees your opinion about union policies and leaders and that union policies and actions are often decided by a small percentage of the members.
  • Tell employees that you and your employer prefer to deal with them directly, rather than through a union regarding day to day problems.
  • Tell employees about provisions in union contracts that they might not know about or would not want to be bound by. (For example, union security, management rights, and dues check off).
  • Tell and distribute reprints of factual articles containing information about unions.

For more information about What Management Can Legally Do, and tactics and strategies for your business, contact Labor Relations Services toll free at 1-877-892-1962, visit us at, or email us at