defend your voice

confidentiality notice:

The content of this publication and accompanying material is intended for the exclusive use of WonderMart management and those whom it is addressed, and may contain information that is privileged, confidential and subject to copyright. Do not copy, act or distribute this publication. Unauthorized use of this report may result in termination for breach of contractual confidentiality.

when union activity occurs, call:

wondermart union
response hotline:

(555) 304-5590

pete randall
(VP employee relations - stores)

(555) 304-5192

moira lipton
(VP employee relations - general)

(555) 304-5153

bruce powell
(VP employee relations - distribution)

(555) 304-5168

sy goldwater
(VP employee relations - home office)

(555) 304-5229

angela cross
(VP employee relations - pharmacy)

(555) 304-5188

never gives the phone numbers to a union representative or anyone outside wondermart

introduction

As a member of WonderMart's management team, you are our first line of defense against unionization. 
It is therefore important that you be... 

 

  • constantly vigilant for efforts by a union to organize your associates, and 

  • constantly vigilant for any signs your team members are interested in a union. 

 

This toolbox has been put together for you by your Employee Relations Team. Take time to familiarize yourself with the 
contents in this toolbox. It will provide you with valuable information on how to remain union free in the event union 
organizers choose your facility as their next target.

our philosophy on unions

WonderMart is strongly opposed to third-party representation. We are not anti-union; we are pro-employee.
 

We believe in maintaining an environment of open communication among all team members, both
exempt and non-exempt. At WonderMart, we respect the individual rights of our people and encourage everyone to
express their ideas, suggestions, comments or concerns.


Because we believe in encouraging an environment of open communication through the use of our Open Door policy, we do not believe there is a need for third-party representation. It is our position every team member can speak for themselves without having to pay his/her hard-earned paycheck to a union in order to be listened to and have issues resolved.

WonderMart's Open Door policy is our greatest defense against union influences trying to change our business culture and union-free status. As a member of WonderMart's management team, your responsibility is to ensure that "... any employee, at any time, at any level, at any location, may express themselves verbally or in writing with any member of management up to the chairman of the board, in "confidence, and without fear of punishment."

 

When a team member uses the Open Door policy, supervisors have a responsibility to listen and respond. If we do not take care of our employees' needs and concerns, our employees will find someone who will. And that someone may just be a union organizer! It is important that our members of management are always committed to the needs and concerns of our team members.

 

Make time for constructive management/team member relations through the use of the Open Door policy. Open communication is the key to impeding a union organizing attempt before it ever gets started.

union organization & authorization process

A union will attempt to organize your facility in one of three ways:
 

  1. A union representative will approach your team members,

  2. Dissatisfied team members will seek out a union representative, or

  3. A union representative will seek employment in the facility and attempt to organize from within,
    also known as "salting."

 

Regardless of which one of these three methods of organizing is used, the union representative's primary
objective is to obtain employees' signatures on union authorization cards.


The law requires a union to obtain signatures on union authorization cards from a minimum of
30% of all team members in the store/facility before they can petition the National Labor Relations Board
(NLRB) for an election. If a union obtains more than 50% of team members' signatures on authorization cards, they may
attempt to overrule an election and ask the NLRB to be recognized as the team members' exclusive bargaining
agent because they have a majority of signatures.


In the event you find a union authorization card in your store or hear team members are attending union meetings and signing authorization cards, it is imperative you call the Union Response Hotline at (555) 304-5590 immediately.
 

WonderMart must respond to this type of union activity immediately in an effort to stop card signing before the required 30% signatures have been obtained.

Once a union representative has obtained the required signatures, a formal demand for recognition or a demand for an election will typically follow. It could come in the form of a messenger, an email, a personal visit from the union representative, a telephone call, or some other type of communication. How you respond to the union's request for recognition could determine whether you will or will not have a union in your store/facility.

 

Remember, as a member of WonderMart's management team, the company will be held responsible for your actions and statements.

how to respond to union demands for recognition

  • Never look at signed authorization cards.

  • Never agree to discuss representation of our associates with a union representative.

  • If contacted by a union representative, inform them you are not authorized to look at
    authorization cards or discuss representation. Direct them to call the General Labor Relations Public Line at (555) 879-6344

 

Remember, do not give the Union Response Hotline number (555) 304-5590 to anyone outside the company.
 

Immediately after any conversation with a union organizer, call the Union Response Hotline at (555) 304-5590.
 

Never give the Union Response Hotline number to a union representative or anyone outside WonderMart.

early warning signs of union organizing

Most union organizing will begin as "backstairs" (undercover) activity. By keeping all union activity backstairs, the union organizer is hoping management will not be alerted to his/her organizing efforts. 


The Labor Relations Team has identified two categories of early warning signs. If you suspect any of these early warning signs of union activity are occurring at your facility, call the Union Response Hotline at (555) 304-5590 immediately and notify your District Manager/Vice President of Employee Relations at once.

Early Warning Signs Category A:

  • An increase in team member phone calls in and out of the store

  • Increased curiosity in benefits and compensation policies 

  • Increased mention of union buzzwords such as ‘Living Wage’, ‘Collective Voice’, and ‘Dignity and Respect’ 

  • Team members receiving unusual attention from other employees

  • Abnormal instances of absenteeism 

  • Excessive turnover 

  • Aberrant slowdown in work productivity 

  • An increase in errors in team members' work 

  • Exit interviews indicating team members are in conflict 

  • Surge of complaints by non-exempt team members against management 

  • Team members confront management publicly

  • Team members "bait" management into discipline or termination 

  • Abuse of washroom visits 

  • Argumentative questions are asked in interdepartmental/store-wide meetings. 

Early Warning Signs Category B:

  • Sensitive information being misplaced or removed from files

  • Unknown persons spending an unusual amount of time in the employee' parking area at the
    beginning or end of shifts

  • Associates spending an abnormal amount of time in the parking area before and after their shifts

  • Frequent gatherings at team members' homes

  • Associates coming back to the store/facility to talk to team members on other shifts

  • Open discussion about unions among employees

  • Reports from team members of union representatives visiting their homes, calling them, or sending them
    literature or other correspondence

  • Union literature found around the store/facility

  • Interest in obtaining names and/or addresses from scheduling documents or employee listings

  • Team members leaving work areas on a frequent basis to talk to coworkers

  • Team members who are rarely seen together start associating with each other and begin forming sudden alliances

how to respond to union activity

The Labor Team has developed several action plans for all types of union activity. In the event you encounter any of the following behavior, or any other type of union activity, contact the Union Response Hotline at (555) 304-5590 as soon as possible. The Labor Relations Team will work with you to develop strategies to combat these and all other types of union activities.

If you witness picketing, handbilling, negative publicity, a union rally, union contest, union meeting, or any of the Category A and B Early Earning Signs, do the following:

Call the Union Response Hotline at (555) 304-5590. Provide the following information:

  • Name and title of caller

  • General Manager's name

  • Store number, City, State

  • What is occurring

  • Sponsoring organization of any suspected union activity

  • Date and location of any associated rallies or contests

  • Number of team members involved

  • How was the information obtained

  • Any potential mediums of the negative publicity

  • What are the issues

  • Management's response

  • Was store/facility contacted by the media for a statement

  • Are we receiving comments from team members or customers about the situation

If you witness union reps visiting with team members, union cards or literature found in the store/facility, team members discussion unions, or handbilling in an effort to organize team members, do the following:

Call the Union Response Hotline at (555) 304-5590. Provide the following information:

  • Name and title of caller

  • General Manager's name

  • Store number, City, State

  • What is occurring

  • Sponsoring organization of any suspected union activity

  • Date and location of any suspected union interactions

  • Was anything overheard/what was said

  • Number of team members involved

  • How was the information obtained

  • Is any literature/cards being passed out

  • Have other early warning signs occurred

  • Any questions asked

  • By whom

  • Where do they work

  • Who did they ask

  • What are the issues

  • Management's response

  • Was store/facility contacted by the media for a statement

  • Are we receiving comments from team members or customers about the situation

If you witness union authorization cards being distributed and/or signed, or union organizers seeking discussion with management regarding team member representation, do the following:

Call the Union Response Hotline at (555) 304-5590. Provide the following information:

  • Name and title of caller

  • General Manager's name

  • Store number, City, State

  • What is occurring

  • Sponsoring organization of any suspected union activity

  • How did we learn about the cards being signed/passed out

  • Who told management

  • Management's response

  • How many cards have been passed out or signed

  • Date and location of any union interactions

  • Who was approached

  • What was said

  • Who was present

responding to union-related questions

Every time a team member asks you a question regarding a union, it is important to:
 

  • First, thank the employee for first coming to you and asking a question.

  • Second, state WonderMart's position on unions.

  • Third, answer the question honestly. If you do not know the answer, tell the team member you do not know.

 

Assure the employee you will find the answer and get back with him/her shortly.
 

Many union representatives will purposely tell employees not to discuss unionization with you or ask
questions from management. Watch for the disappearance of friendly conversation. If employees ask you
questions, answer them honestly. If you do not know the answer, call the Union Response Hotline at
(555) 304-5590 to get the answer and then follow up with the employee.

sample questions/answers

Q: I've been hearing a lot about unions lately, but I don't know what to think about them, what is WonderMart's position on unions?

A: At WonderMart, we don't believe our people need third-party union representation. We value the open communication we promote between management and our team members, and you can always come and talk to me about your job or any concerns you may have.

Q: Can a union "fix" problems or "force" WonderMart to do anything?

 

A: By law, WonderMart does not have to agree to any union demands.

Q: Does it cost money to join a union?

A: Yes. In fact, it can cost a great deal of money. Unions survive on the funds they receive from their members in the form of dues, fees, deductions and assessments, which can add up. That is why they work so hard for you to become a member of their union.

Q: Can I oppose unionization?

 

A: Yes! As an employee, you have the legal right to oppose any unionization attempts. You also have the right to let other team members know your opinion and can communicate that opinion in whatever manner you desire.