Have you ever had that moment in which you thought to yourself “I can not believe what I’m hearing?” A couple of months ago, I had a brief chat with an employee. Before I could even say a “hello” he pushed forward and said, “I started this union organizing campaign. I did it because I wanted to hurt the company.” He then went on to say, “I also did it because I was bored.”
After our meeting I was told by some of the other employees that he felt betrayed by the company because he was passed over for a promotion. The promotion went to his co-worker, who actually had more experience and better interpersonal skills. The spurned employee went out and contacted a labor union with his mind set on starting a union organizing campaign. The union, believing at the time that he really wanted to be a part of their organization, walked him through the steps on how to file a petition with the National Labor Relations Board.
Armed with new information and enthusiasm, this employee worked incredibly hard to convince the other employees to sign union authorization cards.
He made promise after promise as to what union power could do for the employees. Unfortunately he resorted to threatening and harassing the employees who refused to join the union.
But, as time went on, it was became apparent to everyone, including the labor union that he was not serious about this union organizing drive. He was not looking for more money or benefits. He finally admitted he didn’t really know anything about labor unions. His sole motivation was watching the company burn for having passed him over.
Historically speaking, employees turned to unions in America to speak for them at the bargaining table. However, today, many employees are using union campaigns as tools of revenge against companies that have not treated them with the respect they feel they deserve.
It is so important for management to create effective labor relation and employee relation policies that are steeped in respect toward employees while protecting the company. Be mindful that how employee relation situations such as promotions or even terminations are handled may come back to haunt your organization if you are not mindful of the impact that it has on the staff.