Preparing for Difficult Bargaining

Report
Preparing for Difficult Bargaining
Overview
• Anticipating the Employer’s motives and
moves
• Educating/Mobilizing the membership
• Utilizing the resources at your disposal
The Basics…
• Saul Alinsky – Rules for Radicals
– Power is not what you have, but what the target
thinks you have.
• Remember – The Employer wants bargaining
to occur in secret. Not in the public domain.
• Two ways to affect the employer.
– Public Image
– Bottom Line
Anticipating the Employer
• Does the Employer have a practice of
regressive bargaining?
• What has been the result in other
units/unions in recent bargaining?
• Are there mitigating issues that are causing
the employer to take a hard line?
• Who represents the Employer at the table?
(In-house or outside counsel)
Researching the Employer (1)
• Why research?
– Need to identify the employer’s relationships.
– Need to identify the employer’s vulnerabilities.
• Do your homework!
– Research employer’s financials (10k report,
shareholder report, Hoover’s, etc.)
– Get to know the decision makers in the Company.
• What is their history, both within and outside the
Company?
• What is their compensation and compensation history?
Researching the Employer (2)
– What relationships does the employer have that
impact their ability to operate?
– Regulatory bodies
– Customers, End users
– Political connections
– Local relationships
• Goal: Get the best possible overview of the
Employer!
Relationships
What You Think You Can Affect
Union
Employer
Strategic Relationships
What You Can Actually Affect
Public/Civil
Society
Union
Media
Parent Corp.,
Subsidiaries, Sibling
Co’s., and other
Operations
Executives,
Owners,
Shareholders,
Directors
Customers
/Service
Users
Employer
Other
Employers,
Same Market
Suppliers/
Vendors
Middle
Management
Financial
Institutions
Politicians
Government/
Regulators
How to Affect Relationships
1.
2.
3.
4.
Mobilize and educate your members.
Create relationships in the community.
Educate the Public.
Target Decision Makers.
Membership - The Key
• Members have a vested interest in securing a
good contract. Utilize this fact!
• Members have relationships in the community
and with the public. They are your best
messaging machine!
• Members can place pressure on the decision
makers.
Creating a Mobilization Structure
• Just like organizing a workplace, except you
already know who is where.
• Identify and recruit canvassers in each work
location, shift and workgroup.
Mobilization Structure
Goal is one
canvasser to 5-7
employees.
Optimal number.
Canvasser
Line Department
Coordinator
Canvasser
Smithville Service
Center
Meter and Relay
Department
Canvasser
Line Department
5-7 individual
employees
5-7 Individual
Employees
5-7 individual
employees
Mobilizing the Members
• Perform a membership inventory.
– Communications structure
– Individual Interests – i.e., health care, pension,
wages, working conditions
– Create working groups on issues.
– Identify member relationships within community
• How? Use a member survey.
Membership Surveys
• Not what you think!
• Short survey, 5-7 questions
– Yes/No answers
– Performed member to member
– Results reported back through communication
structure
Timelines
• If you suspect hard bargaining, give yourself
adequate time to prepare.
– You cannot in all likelihood, develop this strategy
while in the heat of battle.
– Develop a timeline, working backward from the
date of your first session.
Spheres of Influence
Bargaining
Committee/LU
Leadership
Decision
Makers at
Employer
Mobilized
Members
Pressure Points on
Target/Community
/Public
Point of
Optimal
Union
Power
Bargaining Table Strategies
• Force the Employer to explain, in detail its
regressive proposals.
– To “intelligently bargain”, you need all the
information concerning the need for the proposal,
the impact upon the Employer and bargaining
unit, and what cost savings the employer will
realize with the proposal.
Bargaining Table Strategies
• Use Intelligent Bargaining Tools
– Information requests – Right to bargaining
information.
– Ground rules – written proposals back and forth
across table.
• Include discussion in your written counterproposals,
and information requested/provided/not provided.
– This creates a running commentary on the negotiations.
– Always test the chief negotiator’s ability to make
decisions.
Bargaining Table Strategies
• Communicate daily results of bargaining
through your communications structure to the
membership. (You control this, so use to your
advantage)
– Create agitation among members to employer
proposals.
– Have members question supervisors about
regressive proposals. Make this company-wide.
Bargaining Table Strategies
• Control the process.
– You can decide the response time, need for
information, and how the process proceeds.
• Most Importantly, Have Confidence!
Additional Resources
• IBEW Strategic Campaigns Training – 8th
District
• Offensive Bargaining – David Rosenfeld,
available through the Meany Center Bookstore
• Getting to Yes – Fisher/Ury
• Robust Unionism – Arthur B. Shostak
• Rules for Radicals – Saul Alinsky

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