Union Busting Tactics



Union busting is a pejorative term used by media, labor organizations, and others worldwide to describe a wide range of activities undertaken by employers, their proxies, and governments, which attempt to disrupt or prevent the formation or expansion of trade unions. The term "union busting" is used in current vernacular to describe activities in labor relations that do not favor unions. Union busting tactics can range from legal to illegal and subtle to violent. Labor laws exist country to country differing greatly in level and type of regulation or protection of unions, organizing, and other aspects of labor relations. These can affect such topics as posting notices/communications, organizing inside or outside employer property, solicitations, card signing, union dues, picketing, work stoppages, striking,  strikebreaking, lockouts, dismissals or termination of employment, permanent replacements, automatic recognition, derecognition, ballot elections, employer-controlled trade unions and more. Article 23 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights declares that everyone has a right to form and/or join a trade union.  

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Union Busting?

Union-busting is a practice that is undertaken by an employer or their agents to prevent employees from joining a labor union, or to disempower, subvert, or destroy unions that already exist.

Union busting is a field populated by bullies and built on deceit. A campaign against a union is an assault on individuals and a war on truth. As such, it is a war without honor. The only way to bust a union is to lie, distort, manipulate, threaten, and always, always attack.

Martin Jay Levitt, 1993, Confessions of a Union Buster

Union Busting Playbook

Union Busting, Tactics, Union Avoidance, Union Busting 101, Union Persuader, Fear




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Once the Majority of Workers intiate organizing a UNION at their workplace 90% of the time your employer will hire a UNION-BUSTER to run a campaign against you.


During this campaign, beware of the fact that management and THEIR TEAM of Union-Busters Consultans and Lawyers will try everything in their power to deceive you in their attempts to keep control. In principle, no employer wants to give up control to its employees. That is why employers will use every tool at their disposal. 


They'll use letters, rumors, threats, phony committees, captive audience meetings, special perks, videos, fear, scare tactics, lies about corruption and anything else they can think of to convince you to vote no.


These methods are contained in standard propaganda packages developed and sold by highly paid professional "union-busting" consultants (paid approximately $1,000 - $1,500 a day plus expenses). Most times a typical campaign will run in the hundreds of thousands of dollars depending on the size of the campaign.


These UNION - BUSTING campaigns are designed to confuse workers into thinking that they don't want or need a Union. Don't allow some highly paid "consultant", sometimes disguised as Human Resource Personnel to tell you how to think. Don't be distracted - even by a small group of employees who may be misled by management and are campaigning against you and your right to form a Union. 




Following is a checklist of tactics "union busters" use to try to defeat union campaigns. 

Use this guide to prepare yourself and your colleagues for what will happen. Keep track by checking off each tactic your employer and their team of UNION-BUSTING Thugs and your supervisors will attempt to use to try to DEFEAT YOU! 



Supervisors will be front-line troops against the union delivering letters, informal chats and speeches prepared by the "Union Busters."  



The "Union Busters" will write you many letters and hand out lots of leaflets during the union organizing campaign... only the letters will be signed by upper management, or the Human Resource Personnel - not the Union Busting consultants. 



They may tell you, you don’t need a Union to get wage increases, and they were about to increase your pay just prior to the start of the organizing campaign. They may even tell you now that the Union is here they can’t by law give you a raise but would like to give you a dollar raise. 




In some of the letters, the "union busting" consultants will have management say how much they really appreciate what all of you do for the organization. They might even admit mistakes! They want to convince you that the "boss" is really a good person who can be trusted with your future.  



Most of the letters will paint a pretty ugly picture of the union. Management will want you to think the union is just out for money. They will even refer to the union as a "Third Party." The FACT is, the workers ARE the union - they form the collective voice. The officers will elect their own representatives and will decide what issues they wish to promote and negotiate.



The "Union Busters" will tell management to give you some unexpected perks (i.e. bonuses, paid lunches, parties, etc...) They want you to believe you don't need a union to get good things and improve security.



Management and their RATS will be everywhere. Walking the floors - on every shift. Setting up spur-of-the-moment chats so he/she can find out what's on your mind. "Don't' let a 3rd party come between our wonderful relationship!" BEWARE !



Your supervisors or their human resource personal may call you in for face-to-face talks about the union. You have no choice if they insist, however, you do have the right to ask a fellow employee to sit in with you. Also, you do NOT have to divulge your interest in the Union. and their supervisors have been told what to say by the "union buster consultants." So Beware!



They will try to play one group against the other: "Disloyal" union supporters against "loyal pro-employer" union opponents; men vs. women, older vs. younger, day shift vs. night shift, one department against another - whatever works for them.  



A small group of employees might be set up to "stand up" for the employer. They want to "save" the organization from the Union. The "Union Buster" is behind this committee and is training the leaders to destroy the union organizing efforts.  



Employees might be required, on paid time, to attend meetings where top management will deliver a speech. It is not an open debate. Remember Don’t be Fooled by Union-Busting Propaganda.



Management’s biggest weapon is Fear. Beware of threats of Outsourcing your Job Tactics. This is common in every Union Campaign. Remember - presently you are a, AT-WILL – EMPLOYEE with No Rights, No Voice or No Job Security. You can be FIRED or Replaced by management at anytime ! Don’t be Fooled ! Only by Unionizing, can You Legally Protect you JOB !


U are the UNION and If U want a VOICE  to Negotiate Your Wages, Benefits, Job Security and Working Conditions U must Stand Up and Be Heard !


Remember: 99% of ALL UNIONS Do NOT charge Initiation Fees as management would like you to believe.  Nor do they charge any monthly dues (which UNION members call Job Security) until your UNION negotiates on your behalf your written contract and the majority of officers of VOTE to accept its terms and conditions. 


If YOU work in a RIGHT – TO WORK STATE ALL DUES ARE VOLUNTARY NOT MANDATORY as management would like you to believe. 


In reality no worker would vote to accept a union contract if they were to receive less. This result is a WIN WIN situation for every worker who are looking to unionize to gain the wages benefits, A Voice and RESPECT you deserve!


In conclusion, I have enclosed a copy of UNION-BUSTERS Beware of this Dirty Rat campaign. This material will give you a better understanding on the law and how management will respond during a union campaign. Remember this material is written by high-priced Union Busters. Don’t be Fooled.

Union Busting, Tactics, Union Avoidance, Union Busting 101, Union Persuader, Fear

Fear Is managements Weapon of Choice !

Common Misconceptions and the TRUTH about UNIONIZATION


Management will always oppose a union, that’s a fact.  Your managers and supervisors will employ empty promises, lies threats and intimidation tactics when you try to organize. 


Management has been using these deceptions for years, however when these tactics are exposed for what they are, security professionals like yourself vote in favor of Unionization!


Deception # 1 Supervisors usually come around asking for another chance to change problems on the job, once an organizing drive gathers some momentum. The company may tell you that they didn’t know you and your co-officers were dissatisfied. Your supervisor may well start treating you better and showing new concern for your 




When workers give the company a second chance, they are always bitterly disappointed. Once the pressure is off, the company rarely changes. In most cases, your chance of winning an organizing drive is best the first time around. Don’t be tricked out of your first, best chance


Deception # 2 Although it is illegal, the company will say you’ll be bargaining from scratch. Management will tell you that when you negotiate a contract, you may lose the wages and benefits you already have.



It is illegal for an employer to threaten to reduce benefits if a union is voted in. when you negotiate a first contract, you start from the pay and benefits you already have and build on them. You are the union and you and your co-officers decide what to ask for in your contract. 


Deception # 3 The Company will tell you you’ll never benefit from a UNION Contract because they’ll never sign one. Since it is illegal to say this directly, they may say, “Remember we don’t have to agree to what the union wants in the contract”.



Your company is legally required to negotiate with the union you choose. Every company talks tough before workers organize; don’t let them bully you. It’s in the company’s interest to keep its employees satisfied and keep the work flowing. Once you present them with reasonable contract proposals, management usually compromises.


Deception # 4 Although it is illegal, the company may tell you that if the union is voted in they’ll replace you and your jobs by outsourcing its security department to a non-union company.



It is illegal for an employer to threaten you or your jobs for trying to organize a union. The bottom line is the National Labor Relations Act Section 7 protects your rights to organize and makes it illegal for an employer to outsource your jobs and/or replace you for voting in a union.


Deception # 5 Management may tell you that a union can force you out on strike whether you want to go or not. They may threaten that if you leave your job for a strike you could lose it forever. They may ask you how your family will survive if you are forced out on strike.



When a company threatens that a union will force you out on strike, they break the law. No union can force you to strike. No union wants to strike. Strikes only happen when the company refuses to bargain in good faith with the union and its employees. In any event a strike is a decision voted upon by you and your co-officers. If the majority officers don’t want to strike, there is no strike! Almost 99.9 percent of all union contract negotiations are resolved without a strike.


Deception # 6 The Company will tell you that the union just wants your money. They may lie about the amount of dues and/or initiation fees you will pay to be a member of a union. They may also tell you, you’ll have to pay dues immediately after voting for a union. This is a Lie!



99% of unions do not charge Initiation Fees these fees are waived during a organizing drive. As far as dues are concerned once again I know of no union which charges a newly organized group any dues until a union negotiates your Written Union Contract. Most unions also allow you to ratify your contract so you see what your getting prior to paying any dues. In  Right – To Work For Less States ALL DUES ARE VOLUNTARY NOT MANDATORY!


When you compare your present pay, benefits, working conditions and the lack of job security vs. improvements in pay, benefits, working conditions and job security spelled out in a Written Union Contract, the cost of belonging to any union should far exceed the monthly dues which our members call JOB SECURITY.


Deception # 7 Your employer will tell you “The Union can’t guarantee you not one cent” and that you may well lose your wages and benefits by voting for a UNION.



Right now you are an at-will employee and can be fired at anytime without any rights or Federal or State laws protecting you! The truth is with a UNION, you at least have laws protecting your rights in the event of retaliation and the right to negotiate a legal and binding contract that indeed does GUARANTEE you the wages, benefits, and Job Security you all deserve!




Under the Law from the time you start your campaign you win your UNION election are certified by the National Labor Relations Board and negotiate a written union contract, the law states that an employer CANNOT unilaterally change any present terms and conditions without first negotiating them with your UNION!


Remember YOU are the UNION ! …….and the last thing your Employer wants is to give YOU and your Co-Officers  the POWER to Enforce a Written Union Contract Protecting Your Rights !



Without a Strong Union  fighting for you and/or a Written Union Contract Protecting Your Rights …Your Employer has the Ultimate POWER to…. Fire You without just cause - Outsource Your Jobs – Change Your Shift-Lower Your Wages – Cut Your Hours and anything else he can think of …… BEWARE !


That is WHY Management is Fighting So Hard to Convince you not to belong to A UNION !

LEOSU Washington DC -The District of Columbia's Newest 9(b)3 Security Union for Law Enforcement & Special Police Officers serving Washington DC Capitol Region