Union Avoidance strategy are the steps and measures taken by the management of a company to avoid unionisation of the labourers. Labour Unions have the weapon of collective bargaining. This weapon is viewed by the management as a threat and an impediment to the free decision making of the organisation. The trade unions try to expand their influence by increasing the number of members and the management seeks various techniques and strategies to control the influence. The appropriate way to achieve this is to create an employee focused organisation.
Union avoidance has two approaches - a positive strategic initiative or a reactive response to labour organising. The goal for the management is to sustain a non union work place.
Factors that have affected Labour Relations and Union Avoidance
a. Decline of Union Membership
b. Advanced development of Human Resources Strategies
c. Implementation of Labour Law
d. Impact of Political Action
There are two avenues or areas for union avoidance - eliminate a pre existing union in the organisation and avoid the establishment of a union altogether.
Following is an example of Union Avoidance strategy when there is no pre existing union:
Influencing an National Labour Relations Board election - This is the most manipulative and also as per the literature, a substantially effective reduce the probability of unionisation. There are many ways of influencing and suppressing the formation of a union. There are tactics deployed by the employer and management.
• Internal Tactics - Change the beliefs, perception or actions of the employees. This can be achieved by persuasion, force or manipulation. These are short term tactics and create a mere illusion of avoidance.
• External Tactics - External tactics are more permanent than the internal factors. They try to restrict pro-union influences from entering the workplace. All agitators are somehow eliminated. External tactics are at times illegal - bribes, rigging ballot boxes and manipulating the compensation.