UnionMaine

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Seven Lies

E.T.I. 2009

There is a hearing Monday July 16 about calculating the Fair Share Fee.

Stay tuned for more or see the comments in the previous post for comments from both sides.

Seven Lies, taken from emails sent to me.
The Seven Lies you must know is a sold to employers trying to prevent or bust a Union. I am printing excerpts of emails sent to me. These Union busting lies are being sold to keep workers in their place. The Italics are my comments.

In this first installment the Union Busters say that the Union will lose pay and benefits for the employees to get a contract.
At the end of this I will make ONE comment that shows the lie for what it is.

Here is today’s installment of “SEIU: The 7 Lies You Must Know”
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SEIU: The 7 Lies You Must Know
The First Lie – You Can’t Lose
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This one comes out in every campaign: The SEIU is a “no lose” proposition. Weaker organizers just promise employees will get a big raise or improved benefits if they vote in a union. Smarter organizers (and the weaker ones when it becomes clear they are dealing with an employee who knows how bargaining actually works) will say something like the union would never agree to cuts in current wages and benefits, so employees can only win.

The facts? Bargaining is a two-way street and the Service Employees regularly agree to lesser pay, benefits or work conditions in a first contract.
Unions need a contract once they are voted in – no contract, no dues and the enormous investment in the organizing effort is lost. Of course this always depends on the relative bargaining power of the parties, but most of the time – especially in today’s tough market – unions have to agree to concessions to get that first contract. If you want to call better pay, working conditions, and representation a concession then you must be an employer.

The SEIU has institutional goals in contract negotiations (like dues check off and union security) that smart companies will only agree to in exchange for something else. (Note the subtle lie here, implying that the employer is always 100% in control of whether there will be a union or not) That something else is normally something employees either currently enjoy or something the union promised they’d get during the organizing campaign.

Any former organizer (and even current organizers if they are “off the record”) will tell you that as soon as an election is won the job becomes lowering expectations of the new members. (Since this is written by Union Busters, how do have such great conversations with Union organizers?) Why would that be true? Because nobody would vote in the Service Employees if they thought they would pay dues for less pay and benefits. Unions are also great at “spinning” concessions at the bargaining table.

The bottom line is that there is no such thing as a free lunch. (unless you are management with no union, then your employees buy your lunch) Negotiations are full of trade-offs from the two sides to the contract. Some will benefit the SEIU (notice I did not say the employees – the employees are not a party to the contract). ( NO? I remember this employee sitting at a bargaining table for months and no SEIU spooks whispered in my ear telling me what to do.) And some will benefit the company. If that doesn’t happen there won’t be an agreement.

That’s not to say that employees won’t benefit at all under the new agreement. The SEIU has to get an agreement that benefits them and politically won’t get them voted out of office. But the company has to get a contract they can live with.
If that happens there will be a contract – even if that agreement cuts some of the current pay, benefits or work conditions of employees. If not, no deal.

O.K. Time for a wake up call. The SEIU will lose money for employees. So what company in their right mind wouldn’t help employees get a Union that will cut pay and benefits? So much for lie number one, only the SEIU isn’t the one lying.


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July 15th, 2007 Posted by narsbars | Uncategorized | no comments

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