Goals

When it comes to the financial balance sheet, an employer typically considers labor, i.e., human resources, to be a resource like energy, fuel, or raw material. That is, reducing the cost of the resource contributes to the corporation’s net income. Unionized employees secure better wages and superior benefits compared to their non-union counterparts.[3] Because unions concern themselves with issues such as wages, hours, and working conditions, the company not only must consider the possibility that unions will raise the cost of doing business, but unions may seek work rules which reduce the flexibility of management in running the business.

In nations without universal health care, such as the United States, negotiated health care plans may confer a significant cost on the corporation. Unions frequently seek to negotiate pension plans for represented employees as well, establishing an additional expense for the company.

Lower pay, fewer benefits, and more managerial control over working conditions, scheduling, and hours for the workforce may translate directly into greater profitability. Therefore, many employers seek to prevent unions from conducting successful organizing campaigns, and some may pursue options to undermine or eliminate unions which are already in existence.

During the 1960s and early 1970s, there was a general reluctance on the part of employers to engage in union busting.“ Most employers were cautious about hiring consultants and attending union avoidance seminars. In the late 1970s, one consultant recounted that a decade earlier: ‘Employers used to sneak into [union avoidance] seminars … They were as nervous as whores in church.’ ”

John Logan, The Union Avoidance Industry in the United States, 2006.[3]

Then, consultants began actively promoting the “morality of a union-free environment.” More recently, “consultants have become ever more brazen about encouraging employers to fight unionization to the bitter end.”[3] One prominent industrial relations scholar has observed that there is a “deep anti-union culture that historically and currently pervades US management.”[3]

Employers that have been unionized may be hostile, neutral, or friendly to the union. Occasionally an employer will pretend to be neutral or friendly, while concealing hostile intent. In all cases, however, the goal of the union buster is to reduce the power, significance, and appeal of the union, or to curtail by questionable means the union’s ability to win gains for its members. The number of union busters is increasing, with an estimated tenfold increase in the size of the union avoidance industry in the 1970s alone.[3]

[From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia]

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