If your company’s employee outreach ends when your workers leave the building, you’re missing a valuable opportunity to connect with your staff. Online outreach, in the form of mobile apps, social media and websites, is a popular way for labor union organizers to legally reach potential union members. There’s also evidence that union support is increasing: A Gallup poll found that union support has risen 10 percentage points since 2008.
By having your own website that explains the company’s position on labor unions, you can offer a counterpoint to union websites that employees can use to research the benefits of unionization.
Common Labor Union Website Features
With an estimated 68 percent of adults owning their own smartphones, there’s a strong likelihood that your employee base is social media and tech savvy. That’s why unions use multiple and varied online techniques to reach employees.
Union websites provide a place for reporting workplace misconduct, drawing attention to suspected employer misconduct and dispersing news. Many union websites also have blogs that answer employee questions and provide regular, new content for readers. Many websites also support electronic union authorization cards to demonstrate interest in a labor union and to begin the organizing process.
In addition to having a strong website, many labor unions are also active on social media. They connect with potential and current members through Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter and other popular platforms.
Finally, labor unions also have mobile apps. The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers and the Communication Workers of America have apps that allow members to sign petitions, receive press releases, report suspected workplace violations, watch videos and read regular news updates. The apps also tie to the unions’ robust social media presences.One think-tank that researched labor union mobile apps speculated that union organizers could easily get 30 percent of the authorization cards signed using an app before the employer even knows they’re recruiting.
Government agencies are also providing labor apps to workers. The National Labor Relation Board (NLRB) has an app that provides information to employees about labor laws and gives location-based union contact information. The National Law Review reports that the NLRB intends to expand their mobile app from a reference device to a device that allows members to act immediately on possible workplace violations and other interests.
Developing Your Own Content
Establishing your own online presence is one of the best ways to offer an alternative viewpoint on the benefits of labor unions. The goal of your company site should be to clearly communicate your company’s philosophy, provide reasons why employees may not want a union and completely inform your workers about their rights to resist union formation. Your company should also decide if it wants to make the website public or only accessible to employees.
While content is important, it’s also essential that the company website be attractive to visitors. It should be easy to navigate and have an address that’s simple to remember. Your company should also monitor the traffic on the website to find out which areas are most interesting to visitors. This monitoring will give you valuable information, so you know which areas should be updated regularly or discussed during the workday.
You may also want to weigh the benefits of interacting with employees through social media. Developing a private social media account that is independent of public social media can give your business a way to discuss concerns in a less formal manner. If you have a younger workforce, your employees may prefer to interact on social media versus talking face-to-face.
Labor unions know how to use technology to bring their organizing messages to your employees, so it’s important that your company has a thoughtful counterpoint. By providing a website that gives employees factual information about unions and showing your workers that you’re interested in their wellbeing, you can make sure your employees will make an informed decision.