Union Avoidance - Meaning & Factors

Published in Human Resources Terms by MBA Skool Team

What is Union Avoidance?

Union avoidance strategy are the steps and measures taken by the management of a company to avoid unionisation of the labourers. Union avoidance is sometimes needed to avoid giving completed authority to labor unions.

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. Companies are fine with workers having a good union democracy or even union bureaucracy. But too much power with workers can also backfire for the business.

Factors Affecting Union Avoidance

Some factors affecting union avoidance between management and workers are:

a. Decline of Union Membership

b. Advanced development of Human Resources Strategies

c. Implementation of Labour Law

d. Impact of Political Action

Union Avoidance Strategies

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.

1. Internal Tactics for union avoidance - 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.

2. External Tactics to union avoidance- 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.

Hence, this concludes the definition of Union Avoidance along with its overview.

This article has been researched & authored by the Business Concepts Team. It has been reviewed & published by the MBA Skool Team. The content on MBA Skool has been created for educational & academic purpose only.

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