Despite the continuous reporting of the decline in organized labor in the past two decades, the impact of a collective bargaining agent in a workplace that has always been non-union should never be underestimated.
Indeed, the organizing of a workforce is one of the most profound and economically significant phenomena in human resources: its effects, generally, go far beyond the filing of a lawsuit by an ex-employee, or an OSHA inspection, or even a half dozen EEOC charges happening to you all the same time.
No employer can afford to manage its employees in a manner that makes a union necessary. The platitude "The company that gets a union deserves it" still rings true.
It is hardly the death knell of an employer to "go union" - - many organizations simply adapt and continue to flourish - - but there is no mistaking the enormous changes that a union's presence entails.
Note that unions do not merely seek better economic conditions for the employees they represent. They serve as a vehicle for sharing the managerial discretion and control with the employees. They also induce employers to adopt binding arbitration as a last step in the grievance procedure.
If you are non-union, you are ripe for unionization if:
· you have line managers who have never been trained in managing, treat your people like idiots, and/or communicate poorly with them...of all of these, poor communications are the biggest liability
· you have no internal grievance procedure that provides for an ultimate appeal to an arbitrator or an employee panel, or you have a grievance procedure with some management officer at the top step
· you are suffering from a disproportionate number of discrimination charges, workers comp claims, or government inspections precipitated by disgruntled ex-employees