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With razor-thin margins, business expenditures with zero return are unacceptable.
Yet pending rule changes at the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), Department of Labor (DOL), and Federal Mediation Board (FMB) threaten to increase union membership. These unprecedented anti-employer changes, such as card check union recognition and short election periods, may prevent companies from advocating their position.
Oliver Bell, Inc.’s strategic communications and sustainable, proactive practices can help workplaces curb additional costs. We help nonunion workplaces in many ways, including drafting organizational communications, implementing pro-employee programs, and coordinating representation elections. For unionized employers, we help senior leadership establish a proactive, positive relationship with their labor organization. We assist clients develop partnering strategies, devise collective bargaining strategy, handle contract administration, hold positive grievance resolution (mediation) sessions, resolve noncontract grievances, conduct leader and employee training, direct workplace investigations, and manage diversity.
The Oliver Bell, Inc. team offers labor relations advice and services in a number of areas, including:
Management must earn employees’ motivation, respect, and loyalty. Managers can inspire employees by meeting them where they are—emotionally, intellectually, and culturally—and engage them through honest, meaningful communication. But too often, during times of organizational stress, managers become disconnected from their employees. One way to bridge this divide is customized in-house surveys that guide leaders toward a better understanding of their employees. This approach facilitates productive conversation and conflict resolution.
Our persuader services focus on educating employees during union representation elections or negotiations when demographics, geography, or other business factors create unusual workplace communication challenges.
What are persuader services? The DOL coined the term persuader. Historically, employers have used persuaders during NLRB/NMB representation election processes as an employee communications support service. A persuader helps employers communicate accurate business information so that employees understand their connection to the success of the organization and the rights, rules, and responsibilities involved in negotiations or strike situations.
A more accurate term for our persuader services is education:
We help clients avoid the disruptions of unions, labor strikes, and work stoppages.
Through a program of education and strategic communication, we help clients maintain a positive workplace. When responding to election scenarios, we seek first to understand why your workforce may look for help from an outside party.
Sometimes they want to resolve workplace issues. They may be worried about job security. They may have a desire to affiliate with an entity. They may misunderstand their rights under law and the “individual” versus “collective” bargaining process.
We design communications and an appropriate course of action by assessing the drivers of internal dissatisfaction or outside interest, the status of the employee relations against an election timeline, and management’s ability and readiness to engage in positive and proactive leadership in the labor relations process.
Regardless of whether clients are experiencing rumored activity, known activity, or even an election situation, any effective communication effort must educate supervisors and employees about the rights of all parties, key features of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) – including collective bargaining and strikes – and the election process. Well-informed employees are more likely to opt for positive leadership situations and work with their management team over divisive, negative situations filled with uncertainty and unrest.
Labor Strikes and Work Stoppages
When negotiations break down, strikes and lockouts may occur. No one wins in these scenarios, so we do our best to help clients avoid these situations. However, when these job actions are unavoidable, we can help mitigate the damage to our clients’ operation and reputation. Our services include strike assessments and strike contingency planning.
We can provide support and training for all areas associated with the collective bargaining agreement (CBA). Our services include the following: