For unions, strategizing and moving forward with an attack against a targeted company is an exercise that is very time consuming. A corporate campaign launched by a union, takes copious amounts of time and enormous sums of their member’s money. The goal is complex, the union needs to research every aspect of the target’s operation and its competitors in order to expose whatever weaknesses may exist. The target is most likely within its core industrial makeup. Setting earmarks, assigning regional responsibilities, financing, manning the project and setting the base targets to be attacked are some of the first things that need to be completed. Unions will attack the public image of its target. The union campaign will usually have the following goals:
- Damage the public trust
- Cause financial difficulties
- Set up religious coalitions to take the moral high ground
For example, Unions will often tie up finances for new wings at hospitals and expansion plans for manufacturing plants by putting pressure on banks to hold up loans. A common union strategy is to attack the Magnet (an award given by the American Nurses’ Credentialing Center) status of a hospital to force it to give in to their demands.
Richard L. Trumka defined the union’s vision of corporate campaigns best by stating they were like “a death by a thousand cuts rather than a single blow”
On February 10 2006, AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Richard L. Trumka said “Global companies begat global problems for workers . . . global problems begat the need for global unions and if global unions want to truly match the might and power of global corporations we have to undertake global research and campaigns”
This new energy has been evident across the country in campaigns. At Federal Express, the Teamsters are working to force the company to cave in to unrealistic demands. The Teamsters are working with an organization called American Rights at Work, which is composed of union, political and religious leaders. This coalition is asking supporters to contact their federal and state government and ask our political leaders to demand that Federal Express recognize the union without an election. The coalition is boycotting Federal Express for the Christmas holidays in an attempt to hurt their bottom line.
The Teamsters announced the first contract with UPS Freight, which was formerly known as Overnight Freight. The fight to organize these workers la sted decades.
American unions have been working globally, putting pressure on foreign owned companies, to force their U.S partners to give more in contract negotiations and yield their position when there is strike or organizing activities.
When I was a Corporate Campaign Coordinator, we use to say ”victory by any means necessary” and we would have done anything to persuade, hurt or otherwise force a company to submit.
Believe it or not, I still get emails and information from the unions asking for support in organizing, strike and political campaigns from around the world. This same network is how the unions pushed and financed the HR800 bill through Congress earlier this year.
The best time to start improving communications is before a union starts talking with your employees. Communication skills should be one of the most fundamental abilities any potential or current management employee should process.
Permanent Solutions offers many management courses to enhance communication between your workforce and management staff. Contact Permanent Solutions for more information today.