Many of my clients ask me how to get rid of unions. In their parlance, some want to “bust” their union. After explaining that the decision is up to the employees, I walk companies through what a typical union decertification process looks like. The below case is an illustrative summary of the conversation I have dozens of times each year.
<p "="">Hotel employee Michelle Buniak originally submitted a union decertification petition to her employer in September 2014. A majority of her bargaining unit co-workers signed the petition. The employer then withdrew recognition of the union since the union lost majority support of the bargaining unit. Per usual, the union did not go down without a fight. After companies withdraw recognition from unions, unions file unfair labor practice charges with the National Labor Relations Board alleging unlawful employer interference. Remember, the decision and process to decertify a union is driven by the members of the union. Once the Board dismissed the bogus charges, a union decertification vote was scheduled for February 2016. Decertification votes are where an NLRB agent sets up a polling place and employees enter the election booth and vote whether to stay in or get out of the union. Still fighting, union officials bribed and harassed employees before the vote, but ultimately realized that their efforts were unpersuasive. Instead of suffering an embarrassing, public loss (all election results are public record), the union walked away from the bargaining unit by “disclaiming interest” in the employees it fought so hard to keep. While the whole process took a year and a half, the hotel is now union free.