Workplace Bullying Solutions for Unions
Unions Under Assault
Union busting has always been part of American history. Organizers were routinely fired (or killed), despite the illegality. The NLRB was under control of administrations that hated labor. Unions are not to blame for the decline in unionization rates in the U.S. since Reagan broke the PATCO union. "Employment at will" is the principle most loved by employers -- the right to terminate people anytime, anywhere for no cause is a threat faced by 93% of private sector workers. As of Feb. 2013, the national unionization rate is down to 11.2% after 400,000 government workers -- teachers, police, fire -- lost their jobs to American "austerity - deficit reduction" decisions.
A 2013 D.C. Circuit Court decision decimated the NLRB and voided all 2012 decisions. The Chamber of Commerce and Republicans want to void all decisions made after George W. Bush left office. The NLRB is paralyzed and not able to render any decisions with only one "confirmed" member. Unions are being denied leverage against employers and the Chamber is telling members to simply ignore Union demands for fair labor practices or good faith bargaining.
The driving force behind all the anti-union laws is a group called ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council). Investigative reporting discovered the ALEC-Tea Party-Legislation link. Overnight, existing collective bargaining rights were stripped away in Wisconsin and Ohio. Hard-won labor victories that took years to accomplish through organizing, protesting and bargaining are being erased.
While under assault, it's easy to pull back and focus solely on survival of the union. However, this is risky because members expect support and benefits from membership, regardless of external pressure on unions.
A Union Concern: Abuse in the Workplace
On Oct. 15, 2012, during the Workplace Bullying Institute's Freedom From Workplace Bullies Week, Mary Kay Henry, SEIU International President proclaimed opposition to workplace bullying and was joined by David Holway, NAGE President, and NAGE Vice President Greg Sorozan and NAGE Board member Jane Bethel and Dr. Gary Namie, WBI Director. See the videos of their presentations at the National Press Club.
At the 1:1 level, between workers and bosses, the abuse is increasing. In 2010, the Workplace Bullying Institute (WBI) conducted its second national scientific survey of workplace bullying. Bullying, abusive conduct, is defined as repeated health-harming mistreatment by one or more employees that takes the form of either verbal abuse; threats, intimidation or humiliation; sabotage of work; or exploitation of a worker's known vulnerability, psychological or physical. According to that definition, 35% of all adult Americans reported directly experiencing it. That's 54 million workers. It's an epidemic that jeopardizes employee health, cuts short careers and toxifies the work environment.
Delivering Help to Bullied Members They Expect
Employers don't care about the bullying. Some love it. What are you doing to help your members? Many are in pain and deserve relief. Only Unions can help members.
The Workplace Bullying Institute offers training for Union officers. WBI introduced the phenomenon to the U.S. in 1997. Designate and train a Team of members to become Experts in workplace bullying so they, in turn, can serve colleagues. Reduce stress-related health issues. Intervene. Deal better with member-on-member situations. The training is called Workplace Bullying University®. There are two delivery options. Either (1) send Union officers to Bellingham, Washington for a session or (2) hold a University training on-site for discounted fees to train a Team of at least 5 members.
The WBI director, Dr. Gary Namie, is a card-carrying union member (UAW Local 1981). WBI is pro-worker, anti-abuse, pro-labor.
View the Unions & Workplace Bullying video collection at the WBI YouTube site.
Start Here -- Poll Your Membership Now -- Free!
We will design with you a simple survey to estimate how large a problem workplace bullying is to your members. We have an online data collection survey site. It's anonymous, 3rd party and easy. Simply e-mail your membership the link to your union-specific survey. Statistical summaries of the findings will be provided within a week of the end of the survey period.
Call WBI today: 360-656-6630 Or e-mail us: info (at) workplacebullying.org
Only unions are employee advocates. Serve your members by working to stop bullying with our help. Also please support the anti-bullying Healthy Workplace Legislative Campaign in your state which will benefit all workers. Visit the HWB website to learn details.