Here are 12 common lies your company will tell you when you try to organize. Some of them you may have already heard! Every company takes these lies out of their “anti-union playbook” to try and trick their workers into giving up their chance to have a voice in their workplace! Don’t fall for their lies!
Lie #1: The company will tell you that unions are an outside, third party entity which will get in the way of your relationship with management.
The Truth: If you organize it will be YOUR union. YOU will decide what you want to negotiate over, YOU will vote on your contract, and YOU will elect one or more of YOUR co-workers to be your shop-floor representative(s). YOU are the union.
Lie #2: The company will tell you that you will be charged high dollar initiation fees if you join a union.
The Truth: Nope! There are no initiation fees for newly organized members.
Lie #3: The company will tell you that you will pay high dollar amounts every month for union dues. Often, they like to claim that dues will be $90 per month or more!
The Truth: What you owe each month in dues is based on how much you make per hour. The nationwide Teamsters dues rate is 2.5x your hourly rate of pay, once per month (or an equivalent calculation if you’re not paid hourly). The only way your dues could get to a high amount like $90 per month would be if you were making $36 an hour, and that would be a good problem to have! In addition to this, you won’t even pay a penny in dues until after you have voted to pass a contract you are happy with!
Lie #4: The company will tell you union organizers are thugs who use bully tactics to try and force you to take fliers or sign cards.
The Truth: Union organizers INVITE you to come to meetings and learn about our union, but the company will FORCE you to attend anti-union events while you’re on the clock.
Union organizers ASK you to take fliers or to sign cards. The company will FORCE you to take their anti-union propaganda.
Union organizers stand on the edge of the road and ASK you to slow your car down to talk to us. The company will stand by the time clock and FORCE you to listen to them.
Sounds like it’s the COMPANY using the BULLY TACTICS!
Lie #5: The company will tell you union organizers and officers get high salaries in an attempt to make you distrust us.
The Truth: Your bosses at work never talk to you about how high THEIR salaries are, and certainly don’t want those numbers to be PUBLIC! Union organizers and officers work hard and are on-call 24/7 for the paychecks they receive, and all our salaries are PUBLIC RECORD by law! Union organizers and officers have nothing to hide, can your BOSS say the same thing?
Lie #6: The company will tell you union organizers don’t care about you and are only interested in taking your money.
The Truth: That’s cute. Before you and your co-workers showed interest in organizing, how often did your bosses show any interest in YOUR money?
They certainly don’t care about YOUR money when you need a raise.
They certainly don’t care about YOUR money when you need help paying for health insurance.
They certainly don’t care about YOUR money when you’re struggling to pay your bills.
They certainly don’t care about YOUR money when they short you on time.
The company only ever seems to care about YOUR money when talk of joining a union is going around.
They aren’t worried about YOUR money at all. They’re worried about THEIR money, because they know unions fight to make sure workers receive a fair share of the company’s profits!
Lie #7: The company will tell you that if you join a union, you will be charged fees if you don’t attend union meetings.
The Truth: Teamsters Local 89 has 15,000 members. If your members were required to attend meetings or be fined, we would have to rent out a stadium every time we held a meeting. While we certainly encourage all our members to attend meetings to stay informed about their union, attendance is in no way mandatory, and there are absolutely zero fines attached to any meeting.
Lie #8: The company will tell you that signing a union card means you’re voting for the union.
The Truth: Signing union cards is only the first step in a union organizing drive. Once a majority of employees have signed cards, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) will schedule a secret ballot vote. When the vote comes, even if you previously signed a card, you can vote whichever way you want to. The only ways a vote would not be held is if the company has willingly agreed to recognize you as a union, or if the company has repeatedly and severely CHEATED by violating your federal rights during the organizing drive.
Lie #9: The company will tell you they can’t AFFORD to have a union representing their employees.
The Truth: What they really mean is they don’t WANT to treat you fairly or pay you more in wages or benefits. However, they certainly have plenty of money to pay high-dollar amounts for CEO’s and union-busting lawyers to come in and help them put on anti-union meetings! It is not out of the ordinary for a company to spend thousands of dollars to try and stop their workers from organizing. If the company has that kind of money laying around, why aren’t they sharing it with their workers?
Lie #10: The company will tell you they will shut down if you join a union.
The Truth: Possibly the biggest and boldest lie told by a company when its workers are trying to organize, this particular lie also happens to be AGAINST FEDERAL LAW! Companies are prohibited from using threats like plant closures during an organizing drive. Bet let’s talk about the lie itself. Company’s don’t shut facilities down based on whether they have a union or not. They shut facilities down if they’re not making money If your company is currently making a good profit, you being a part of a union won’t change that. However, it will give you the opportunity to try and make sure some of those profits go back into your pockets instead of buying the CEO an extra yacht. In fact, some of the most successful businesses in the area have unions representing their employees. UPS, Kroger Warehouse, Morgan Foods, and ABF are all represented by Teamsters Local 89, and none of those companies are shutting their union facilities down. In fact, they’re thriving.
Lie #11: The company will tell you that “the union” will make you go on strike all the time.
The Truth: There they go trying to make us sound like we’re an outside group again. As said before, if you organize this will be YOUR union, and only YOU can make the decision on whether to strike. While strikes do happen during negotiations, they are actually quite rare, and always used as a last resort. The company doesn’t want a strike, so they will almost always agree to bargain rather than risk one. Further, any strike action must be VOTED on by the affected members. That means it would be up to YOU and your co-workers to decide whether a strike should happen. That decision is never made for you; it is YOUR CHOICE!
Lie #12: The company will tell you unions spend all your money on politicians that you don’t agree with.
The Truth: Another big fat lie told by companies, this one is also completely false. Federal law prohibits unions from spending dues money on donations to political candidates. While unions do often get involved in politics in order to protect our members from laws that could harm them, no dues money is used for donations to political candidates! The Teamsters have a political fund called D.R.I.V.E. (Democrat, Republican, Independent, Voter Education) that members can donate to, but it is 100% voluntary! No one donates a single penny to political candidates unless they CHOOSE to do so.