After battling the SEIU’s Corporate Campaign against my company, and ultimately winning, I firmly believed that I had experienced corruption at its worst. Sadly, I was mistaken.
It all began in January 2012 when my company was awarded a housekeeping contract in Kokomo, Indiana, a city that benefited from a major portion of the President’s 2009 Stimulus Package and Auto Bailout. It was an unprecedented award, as we were the first non-union cleaning contractor to be awarded the facility. Our staff replaced approximately 30 United Auto Workers (UAW) members, who did not lose their jobs, but rather were absorbed into the plant operations. The most striking part of the transition was how successful we were. Plant management was ecstatic with the cleanliness, efficiency and safety of our company and employees. Our employees were happy and the employees at the plant were happy with a cleaner facility. This pleasant relationship continued for over 6 months, until the UAW International raised its ugly head.
Apparently, it did not sit well with the powers-to-be at UAW International that a non-union contractor could be successful at a “union” facility. They sent a corporate organizer espousing the belief that the employees, who to that point had not requested union representation, needed union “protection” and deserved better wages and work rules. The sudden appearance of the UAW International had nothing to do with the employees, but had everything to do with their fear that if we were successful in this plant, that we could begin picking up more “union” plants across the country, thus threatening their future membership dues and way of existence.
Consistent with their SEIU brethren, and in line with the direction of the NLRB since President Obama’s recess appointments in attempt to create Card Check through Regulation vs. Legislation, the UAW immediately contacted us about signing a Neutrality Agreement, which they instead labeled as a “Partnership Agreement.” This blatant misrepresentation would be the first and least onerous of the many that would be spewed by the desperate Gasping Dinosaurs to secure the unionization of our employees. We responded to the UAW just as it did when the SEIU requested we sign a Neutrality Agreement in 2007, we were still not interested in signing away our employees’ rights to a secret ballot election (for more details, read The Devil at Our Doorstep). Despite several contacts by the UAW organizer requesting that we sign the “Partnership Agreement,” we respectfully declined. Giving credit where credit is due, the UAW did not threaten us with a Corporate Campaign, in fact things became suspiciously quiet going into Thanksgiving last year.
Unfortunately, the silence did not last long. The day after Thanksgiving we received notice that the UAW had petitioned for an election to determine union representation for our employees. Immediately we responded, as we had the past, that we expected both sides to conduct themselves with integrity and within the guidelines of the law and NLRA regulations. We also wanted the election to be held as close to the 42-day mandated period