Salting campaigns are among the most common tactics employed by unions in coercing nonunion businesses or companies to sign union contacts. These campaigns sometimes are beneficial for instance in educating employees of a non union companies about their rights such as better pay and access to safe working condition. Therefore through organizing a non-union company the workers are in a potion to have a collective bargain with the employer. But on the other hand some studies indicate that by employing salting tactics, they subject the company and employees into unnecessary legal fights that leave the employer and employees distressed. this paper tries to look into salt campaigns from different perspectives. Discussed in this paper are the merits, demerits and effects of union salting to employees, employers and to the community at a large.
Also discussed in this paper are instances of cases concerning union salting campaigns. Introduction salting can be defined as the act of deliberately getting a specific job at a particular place with the intention of initiating or organizing a union. These unions can be initiated by lone individuals or by a small of persons who decides to put into place a union from scratch with no experience in running unions. Salting can arise when individuals who have successful organized in their workplaces DISCOVER THAT IT IS IN THEIR BEST INTEREST TO INITIATE unions in other places in the same industry (bronfenbrenner and sheldon 2008). Some studies argue that union salting is intended to coerce non-union contractors into signing union contracts. According to bronfenbrenner and sheldon (2008), if the contract refuses, union salting is intended to force the contractor to waste time and spend money defending himself against unfair labor practice charges before the nlrb. Therefore salting campaigns are intended to harass the employer or contractor into making decisions that violates federal labor law consequently leading to law suits and fines (bronfenbrenner and sheldon 2008).
Studies suggest that in order to defeat union salting, employers or contractors need to have an insight on the objectives of union salting. According to studies the main objective of a union during salting is to coerce the employer into signing a union contract without a vote by the employees. The union will employ all means available to achieve this objective (bronfenbrenner and sheldon 2008). Methods of union salting in america the law requires that in non-contraction firms the unions must be voted in by employees through an election that is conducted by the national labor relation board. But in construction sector voting by employees is not required. But the company is required to enter into 'a pre-hire' agreement. This agreement will force the employer to employ only union members and abide by the union contract with the union. The employer does not negotiate in any way during the signing of the contract. Salting campaigns can occur through any of the following (bronfenbrenner and sheldon 2008):
1. The union can send one of their members to apply for a job vacancy in the company, while disguising his or her union membership. After getting the job the salt will try to convince other employees into joining a union for instance by telling them how the company unfairly treats them. The salt will usually continue violating the company's rules until when he or she is fired or quits voluntarily. Following this, the union will then file a case with the national labor relation board nlrb for unfair labor practice by the company charging that the salt was discriminated against by the company.
2. Salting campaign can also take place when a union sends one of its members to apply for a job vacancy in a company. In the application HE STATES THAT HE IS A UNION MEMBER AND also point out that he wants to organize the company. If the company fails to hire the salt then the union will go ahead and file a case with nlrb for unfair labor practices by the company.
3. The union can also stage salting campaigns by sending resumes of its members to the company requesting for jobs. The applicants are not even aware of the applications to the company. In case the applicants are not hired, the union will file a case with nlrb for unfair labor practices.
4. The union can also stage union salting campaigns by enlisting employee of a company to become a salt. They will even pay the employee to try to organize the company. Usually this salt will end up violating rules of the company until he quits or his fired. The unions will then go ahead and file a case with nlrb for unfair labor practices.
5. The union can convince certain employees of a company to exit the company when the company is executing major projects with a guarantee to the employee that the employees of a union will rate work for a limited period of time.
All these methods of salting end in filing of a case with nlrp for unfair labor practices. The unfair labor practices (ulp) cases with nlrp cost the union less but are usually expensive to a company this is because the case is prosecuted by nlrp which is an agency of federal government. These salt campaigns are directed towards certain objectives. They are intended to coerce the company into signing a union contract and if this does not succeed the company will have to spend of a lot of legal fees in defending ulp cases. Some findings indicate that a number of construction trade unions in america have used election procedures of nlrp in forcing election of employees. These salt campaigns are very deleterious to the company and can EVEN CAUSE THE COMPANY TO GO OUT OF BUSINESS (bronfenbrenner and sheldon 2008).