Owners of companies of all sizes and industries are concerned about the battle between organized labor and business over the Employee Free Choice Act. Most people think it's a struggle between fat-cat business owners and blue-collar workers who are tired of seeing their jobs shifted overseas and shrinking salaries.
Really, it's a war about power and money -- one that has been going on for over a century. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, workers were taken advantage of by steel mills and coal mines with long hours, poor pay and unsafe conditions. Workers pleaded, but most owners weren't listening. Eventually, the workers rebelled and along came powerful unions.
As time went along, unions started to flex their muscles by pushing for restrictive work rules and striking for more pay, while companies retaliated by closing plants and sending jobs abroad. The average American lost sympathy for unions, as he endured strikes and read about others being paid for not working. Now that greed has consumed both sides, there really isn't any sympathy for either.
What does the newest union battle mean for small to medium-size businesses?
Second, most workers realize this isn't the time to consider unionizing.
Fourth and most important, if employers are perceived to be fair, employees won't unionize.
1. Share the wealth, meaning pay employees a wage they can afford to support their families.
3. Don't tell employees you can't afford to provide fair salaries and benefits while you drive a top-of-the-line Mercedes and show off pictures of your $2 million vacation retreat.
5. Listen to employees' suggestions and implement some of them, making sure they get credit. Getting credit verbally, and possibly with a small bonus, makes for a better work environment.
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