12 Company Dirty Tricks

In every union election, companies use tricks to discourage workers from joining together for a voice at work. These tricks defeat the workers’ efforts and allow the company to maintain ultimate control over wages, benefits, and working conditions. It is important to know how to recognize anti-union tricks. Otherwise, you and your coworkers may be misled by the company’s lies and false promises. This below can help you anticipate how the company will respond to your demand for democracy in the workplace.
Management Asks for a Second Chance

Dirty Trick #1

Management Asks for a Second Chance
Learn The Truth

The Dirty Trick!

Management may ask you to give them another chance to solve your problems before voting for union representation.

You will hear how they did not know that you and your fellow workers were unsatisfied, they may terminate a supervisor or manager to show their concern, or they may merely begin to treat you better and to show more interest in you and your coworkers. They may even treat you to a pizza party or company- sponsored picnic!

The IBEW Truth

Do not be fooled. These empty promises are no more than a ploy by the company to get you to vote no. Without a contract outlining your wages, benefitts, and working conditions, the company can make changes at will. If you are still not convinced, ask the company to put their promises in writing in the form of a contract.

Don’t Sign the Authorization Card

Dirty Trick #2

Don’t Sign the Authorization Card
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The Dirty Trick!

The company will attempt to portray the authorization card as a legal document that makes you a member of the union and requires you to immediately begin paying dues—without the right to vote on a contract.

The IBEW Truth

In order to have a secret-ballot election, the Labor Board requires a “showing of interest” from the employees. The authorization card indicates your desire to be represented by the IBEW and is what is used to prove to the Labor Board that the employees are interested in forming a union for their mutual aid and protection. The company does not want you to sign an authorization card so an election can never be held!

Membership dues are not collected until:

  • The union is granted the legal authority to represent you
  • A contract is negotiated and voted on by you and your coworkers
  • An application for IBEW membership is completed
Management Talks About Closing the Company

Dirty Trick #3

Management Talks About Closing the Company
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The Dirty Trick!

Supervisors, managers and other company officials may tell you that the company will close because of the union.
 
They may even tell you that the union is bad for business and your job is in jeopardy if you vote in favor of the union.

The IBEW Truth

It is illegal for the company to close down or threaten to close down because employees choose to join together for a voice at work. Companies go out of business for a number of reasons, including economic recessions, changes in demand, and poor management.
 
The union wants the company to be pro table and share these gains with the workers. If your company’s  financial situation is bad, management should prove it by showing you the financial records.

Management Talks About Union Bosses

Dirty Trick #4

Management Talks About Union Bosses
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The Dirty Trick!

The company may tell you that the IBEW will use your dues money to pay the IBEW bosses’ high salaries. They may tell you that you will never get any bene t from paying union dues.

The IBEW Truth

By a majority vote, IBEW members decide how much they will pay in union dues and how their money will be spent. Members decide what amount of dues will be necessary to provide the economic resources needed to achieve their goals.

Management Says They Will Never Sign a Contract

Dirty Trick #5

Management Says They Will Never Sign a Contract
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The Dirty Trick!

The company may tell you that it will never sign a contract, even if you choose to be represented by the IBEW. It is illegal for the company to say this to you directly, so instead, they may say something like, “Remember, we don’t have to agree to what you want in the contract.”

The IBEW Truth

The law requires that the company negotiate with the union in “good faith.” This means that the company must make an honest effort to reach an agreement. Failure to do so is a violation of the law.
 
The IBEW has trained negotiators that will be there to assist you in reaching an agreement and will even train your bargaining team should you wish them to. Don’t let the company’s loud voice scare you. Its main interest is to keep the job running smoothly, the profits high, and ultimate control of your wages, benefits, and working conditions.

The Union Is a Third Party

Dirty Trick #6

The Union Is a Third Party
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The Dirty Trick!

The company will try to portray the union as a third party coming into your workplace to take your money. They may tell you that you will not be able to speak with your supervisors or managers and that you will have no control over what is decided in your workplace.

The IBEW Truth

As a union member:

  • You may speak to your supervisor at any time
  • You will select who negotiates your agreement
  • You will determine who represents your interests
  • You will finally be treated with the dignity and respect that you deserve in the workplace

All with the support of over 700,000 IBEW members.

Management Talks About Negotiating from a “Blank Slate”

Dirty Trick #7

Management Talks About Negotiating from a “Blank Slate”
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The Dirty Trick!

The company may tell you that you will lose your current wages and benefits when you negotiate your union contract. Although illegal, the company will tell you that you will start with a blank slate.

The IBEW Truth

When you negotiate your  first contract, you start with your current wages and benefits and negotiate from there.
 
You and your coworkers decide what you want in the contract and vote to approve it. Your strength, through participation and solidarity, determines the quality of the contract.

False Promises

Dirty Trick #8

Management Promises
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The Dirty Trick!

Promotions! Wage Increases! Open Door Policy! Sick Leave! Vacations! Pizza Party! When management learns that workers are joining together they often make promises to some or all of the workers in an effort to divide support.
 
They may even claim that they were “just about” to hand out raises, but “because you are talking to the union it would be illegal to give you one.”

The IBEW Truth

Without a union contract, the promises made today can be broken tomorrow! The company can change or take away any of your working conditions, at any time, even if they have promised not to! The only way to guarantee your wages, benefits and working conditions are through a contract.
 
P.S. Be sure to let your organizer know if the company is promising wage increases! We can help!

Union Promises

Dirty Trick #9

Union Promises
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The Dirty Trick!

The company will tell you that the union will promise to get you what- ever you want. They will claim that the union cannot guarantee you any better benefits, wages, or working conditions. They will also claim that you could get more, you could get the same, or you could get less by joining the union.
 

The IBEW Truth

The goals and priorities of what is negotiated into your contract de- pend upon you and your coworkers.
 
You will decide by a majority vote what is in your contract. However, a quick look at the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics clearly shows the advantages of being a member of a union.
 
Statistical data from the U.S. Department of Labor indicates that union workers make on average 29% more than non-union workers.* In Canada, the Canadian Labour Congress reports that union workers make on average 19.3% more than non-union workers.

U.S. Weekly Median Earnings:

  • Non-Union - $729
  • Union - $938

Canadian Weekly Median Earnings:

  • Non-Union - $856
  • Union - $1060
Management Talks About a Strike

Dirty Trick #10

Management Talks About a Strike
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The Dirty Trick!

The company may tell you that the IBEW will force you to strike even if you don’t want to. They may tell you that while you are out during a strike you will be permanently replaced. They may ask you how you will support yourself and your family if you are forced to join the strike.

The IBEW Truth

The IBEW will never force you to strike. The decision to strike is made democratically by you and your coworkers. If the majority of workers don’t want to strike, there will not be a strike. In fact, 99% of IBEW con- tracts are resolved without a strike. If the company claims that the IBEW will force you to strike, they are violating the law.

Management Talks About Dues, Fines, Fees, and Assessments

Dirty Trick #11

Management Talks About Dues, Fines, Fees, and Assessments
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The Dirty Trick!

The company may tell you that the IBEW wants your money. They may lie about the amount of dues you will pay as a member of the IBEW. They may also claim that there are huge initiation fees,  fines for not attending union meetings, and assessments that are all reflected in the IBEW Constitution.

The IBEW Truth

You will not begin paying dues until negotiations are finished and you and your coworkers vote by secret ballot to approve the contract that was negotiated. If you are joining an existing local union of the IBEW, they can tell you exactly what your initiation fee and dues will be.

If you will be part of a new local union, you and your coworkers will determine both the initiation fee and dues rate. Assessments cannot be charged without a majority vote. No one is fined for not attending union meetings.

The Company Forms a Union-Free Committee

Dirty Trick #12

The Company Forms a Union-Free Committee
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The Dirty Trick!

During the election process, a so- called “Union-Free Committee” may mysteriously appear or even be openly recruited by the company.
 
This committee will do the company’s dirty work. They may distribute leaflets with lies about the IBEW, start rumors, or intimidate workers that support the IBEW.

The IBEW Truth

The objective of the Union-Free Committee is to divide the employees so that the company can maintain complete power over your wages, benefits, and working conditions. Don’t allow the company to determine your future! Stand strong with your fellow workers!

Know Your Rights, Secure Your Future!
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