Practice Areas

Ambush Elections and Supervisor Training

February 14, 2014

By: Richard H. Wessels, Esq.

In my recent commentary (February 13, 2014) about the announcement by the NLRB last week that they are proposing dramatically shortened time frames for union organizing elections, I mentioned the importance of having an emergency game plan ready to go because of the short time to react to the filing of an organizing petition. I commented that training of supervisors is an excellent idea and that we regularly provide that training. We have already had several questions on exactly what the format is for supervisory training.

Typically, this training on the union organizing issue is done in a group meeting with the client's front-line supervisors. The following points are covered:

  • Overview of NLRB union organizing procedures.
  • Dos and Don'ts about what a supervisor can say and can't say during a union organizing effort.
  • Role-playing on answering typical employee questions.
  • After the role-playing exercise, we like to show a short DVD (13-½ minutes long) showing a supervisor doing a terrific job of answering employee questions.
  • At the conclusion we make some group decisions on plans going forward. Normally this turns out to be staying alert, "nipping in the bud" any wrong ideas that employees might have about what unions can do for them and, most importantly, an understanding on the part of the supervisors that they should immediately notify top management of any signs of serious union organizing activity. If top management doesn't know, they can't react!

All this can be done in a one-hour time frame and Dick Wessels regularly handles this for clients. This is relatively cost-effective at Dick's hourly rate of $325 an hour, and that is the total bill. There is no charge for preparation time, travel time nor travel expenses. As we indicated in our last e-alert, if you have questions or you want to set up a supervisory training session, contact Dick at 630-377-1554 or via e-mail at riwessels@wesselssherman.com.