T.E.A.M. approach: Your best defense against a union bid.

Your best strategy for union avoidance is the T.E.A.M. approach, according to attorney Jon Hyman of Wickens, Herzer & Panza in Cleveland:

Train supervisors. Your managers will be the first people to know if employees are disgruntled or a union is organizing. Train bosses how to report and legally respond to union activity.

Educate employees. Employees should be told why the company is antiunion--competitive wages and benefits; a strong commitment to safety and health; positive communication; a history of peaceful employee/management relations; and an unwillingness to permit a third-party to tell the company and employees how to do their jobs. If this is just lip service, don't both saying it.

Affirm an open door. Management should routinely gather its employees to learn what they are...

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