I'll admit it. I don't get it when HR pros don't know what the EFCA stands for, and even when they do know, don't care. I don't get it when HR pros think that they can't have an opinion about whether unions are good or bad for employees, or as a result, good or bad for companies. Or god forbid that they think that being organized is actually OK, even if it happens under their watch. I don't get it when they don't get irate about the confidential vote potentially being eliminated under the EFCA.
I'll step off the soapbox for now and offer up the following to the HR pros out there who think unions are OK, and perhaps part of a broader "partnership" that holds hands with companies to create a greater good. I call you the Switzerland of HR, because you're scared to have an opinion.
The following is from a CWA website organizing brief designed to rally union members as the CWA tries to hammer out a new agreement with the landline operation of AT&T. From the Communication Workers of America:
"We are still at the table, arguing over every line, but this will not be fixed at the table. Your Locals have been given information on what it means to work without a contract. The Union still has the option of calling a strike at the time WE want one. We will not be driven into the street by a Company that is ready to have managers, contractors and scabs do our work. Now it is your turn. If there is "business as usual" in your office, that list above will become your new Contract. YOU MUST mobilize in every workplace. You must affect the Company's bottom line and show them you will not stand for these attacks on our members and our Union.
That clip was from a bargaining update on 4/7/09 at the site. Here's a clip from the 4/9/09 version:
"For those of you working this weekend, remember – NO BUSINESS AS USUAL."
So let me break that down for you. If you click through to the brief, you'll see an update on the various items being negotiated, and the general theme is "how DARE they" (referring to the company). That part I get - it's their union, and whipping the troops up is a part of their business.
But wait - look at the words in bold - no business as usual, mobilize and affect the company's bottom line. Think about that for a second. The union in question is working without a contract, carrying the old contract forward while both sides remain at the table, so they elected not to strike. In the place of that, they're suggesting that any behavior - slowdowns, disruptive behavior, as well as a lot of things they won't put in print, are the responsibilities of employees who are union members to pressure the company.
WOW. No business as usual, huh? Then you see reports of fiber cuts on the AT&T network.
Hey HR Switzerland, still feel like you shouldn't have an opinion? Here's some theme music to get you in the mood for what you're inviting: