April 5, 2017
Unionization rates in the private sector have reached new lows in the Carolinas and beyond. (see The Carolinas: Least Unionized states in the Nation). More than 93% of the private sector employees have expressly or implicitly declined unionization. In effect, they are not “buying” the services being promised by unions. Some employees realize that unions seldom can guarantee that any of those promises will come true, while others are skeptical about the unions’ motives. Rather than crafty promises, the actual sources of competitive pay, safe workplaces, and similar benefits are through progressive employers, satisfied customers, quality products or services, and statutory protections.
Nevertheless, unions regularly design their unionization messages to appeal to particular workplaces, sometimes offering a list of alleged benefits or customizing their marketing pitches. These pro-union messages are often described or packaged in different ways, but have common themes or promises. Although certainly not an exhaustive list, the following are some of the most common union marketing pitches aimed at private sector employees during a union campaign (listed in descending order):
10. You need special membership benefits
(union credit card, scholarships, etc.)
9. You need a safer workplace.
8. You need better training.
7. You need unity.
6. You need job security.
5. You need someone backing you up.
4. You need a voice in the workplace.
3. You need equality and fairness.
2. You need more: More money, more benefits, more . . .
1. You need a contract: collective bargaining.
The vast majority of private sector employees have ignored or rejected these types of marketing pitches. Having reached new lows in unionization rates, only time will tell whether unions will continue re-packaging the same old list of promises or create new marketing pitches in attempt to attract new members.
Our Insights are published as a service to clients and friends. They are intended to be informational and do not constitute legal advice regarding any specific situation.