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Common Misconceptions and the Truth

Management will always oppose a union, that’s a fact. Your managers and supervisors will employ empty promises, lies and threats when you try to organize. To win, you must set the record straight. If you want a union, read this page and discuss it with your colleagues. Management has been using these deceptions to intimidate workers for years. Don’t let them do it again.

Deception #1
Supervisors and plant managers 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-workers were so dissatisfied. Your supervisor may well start treating you better and showing new concern for your well being.

The Truth:
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'll lose the wages and benefits you already have.

The Truth:
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 decide what to ask for in your contract. The
power of the contract will depend largely on the strength in participation of you and your co-workers.

Deception #3
The company may tell you you’ll never benefit from a Teamster 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 you want in the contract."

The Truth:
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
They’ll tell you the plant may close if they have to deal with a union. They’ll tell you that unions are bad for business. They’ll say most anything to convince you that unionizing will threaten your job.

The Truth:
Companies fold for economic reasons. The vast majority of failed businesses are non-union. If your company is really in bad shape, let them prove it by opening their books.

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.

The Truth:
When a company threatens that a union will force you out on strike, they break the law. No union can force you to strike. A strike is a decision voted on by you and your co-workers. If the majority doesn’t want a strike, there is no strike. Almost 99 percent of all Teamster 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 you will pay to be a Teamster.

The Truth:
The improvements in pay and benefits you get with a Teamster contract outweigh the cost of your dues, usually by a huge margin. The improvements in your working conditions and in the dignity with which you are treated are immeasurable. Teamster dues average two hours pay per month. An organization that works for you is worth paying for. 
See The Facts About Teamster Dues

Deception #7
The company will try to scare you by saying that unions bring violence and conflict. Near election time, management sometimes will cause problems and then blame the union.

The Truth:
Collective bargaining’s very reason for existence is to solve problems peacefully. With Teamster representation, workers and management sit down as equals - at the bargaining table and in the grievance process. This doesn’t create violence, it prevents it.

Deception #8
The company will tell you that a union just takes your dues money to pay the high salaries of union elected officials.

The Truth:
Union expenses, including the salaries of union officers, are approved by the membership. Union money is spent solely for their members' benefit. Your dues can only be increased by a majority vote. Union members decide how union money is spent.

Deception #9
Your supervisor may suggest that you can get a promotion or better pay if you support management. He’ll probably tell you that the company will give special treatment and favors to workers who are "team players" who vote against unionizing.

The Truth:
Not only is this illegal, it’s usually not true. Generally any special treatment ends on election day. Many workers who are tricked this way find themselves treated just as poorly as their co-workers after a union organizing drive is defeated.

Deception #10
Before a union election, a so-called "Vote No" committee often mysteriously appears. This committee does management’s dirty work. It passes out literature filled with company lies about the union. It spreads rumors and insults co-workers who support the union. "Vote No" committee members may be recruited from friends and relatives of management. Usually, they are promised special treatment or a promotion for their foul deeds.

The Truth:
Your company knows that if you and your co-workers are uni
fied, you can stand up for your rights. The aim of an anti-union committee is to divide people and create hatred. Managers may try to divide people, but unions bring people together. Don’t fall for the company’s lies.


Contact us via our Organizing Request Form.

 

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The International Brotherhood of Teamsters is affiliated with the AFL-CIO. Our membership in this organization precludes us from organizing members already represented by other AFL-CIO affiliates.