Treatment, not pay, is not the main reason workers unionize.
That the United Food and Commercial Workers are trying to unionize 250 Bon Appetit workers through a secret-ballot election is a good lesson that leaders of every company should take note of.
Why? Because all-too-often management believes that pay is the reason workers unionize when, in fact, it is not.
As is the case of the Bon Appetit workers, according to the Student Life, respect (or the lack thereof) and favoritism by their management seems to be the triggers for these workers.
In response to reports regarding disrespect within employee interactions, approximately 250 Bon Appetit workers filed to unionize with the National Labor Relations Board Wednesday morning….
Workers have complained of differing workplace standards across the Danforth Campus, as well as instances of preferential treatment.
UFCW Local 655 Communications Director Collin Reischman noted that pay was not the primary factor in the decision.
“The idea of not being respected on the job is the most universal complaint we get when we organize folks,” Reischman said. “Some folks like their pay, some people don’t, but not being respected by your boss seems to be a problem that almost every American worker runs into at some point.”
Although unions actually do little to improve “respect” or “treatment” from management, management treatment is the most prevalent issue that causes workers to be susceptible to union organizers.
All too often, when senior leaders know there is a management issue, there is often a reluctance to address the issue until it is too late.
That Bon Appetit’s workers are determining whether or not to unionize over what appears to be a management issue is a good lesson for other company leaders.
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