BLR News


Who’s afraid of unions? Not HR managers, poll finds

Old Saybrook, CT – July 27, 2005 – Not so long ago, human resource managers trembled at the thought of union organizers in their midst. Now, two-thirds rate their concern as “low” or “non-existent,” according to the latest online poll at, a website for HR managers.

The poll asked, “What's the level of concern about union organizing at your company?”

The responses broke down this way:

  • Non-existent - 43%
  • Low - 25%
  • Moderate - 14%
  • We're already organized - 10%
  • High - 7%

The poll, conducted July 20-26, drew 557 participants. It occurred amid heavy news coverage of the AFL-CIO’s 50th-anniversary convention and the high-profile departure of seven dissident unions from the coalition, including the Teamsters Union and the Service Employees International Union.

“It’s hard to say whether these numbers reflect the waning power of organized labor or simple preparedness on the part of today’s HR professionals,” said -----. “One legacy of the labor movement is the array of laws we have now to protect workers, like the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the state workers’ compensation laws, and the various equal employment opportunity (EEO) laws. An HR manager must understand them and comply with them, even if their employees aren’t organized. From a compliance perspective, then, they may view the threat of unionization as a been-there-done-that situation.”

Still, any attempt to unionize a workplace brings into play a law that HR managers must be especially careful to follow: the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). That’s why offers a free download of the Unions page in its compliance library. This PDF explains how an employer must comply with the NLRA and other laws in dealing with everything from union solicitation and “salting” to union elections and grievances. Download it here:

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Old Saybrook, Conn.-based BLR produces plain-English compliance and training resources for HR, compensation, safety, and environmental managers. For more information and a free catalog, call 800-727-5257 or visit

Contact: Managing Web Editor Kevin Flood
860 510-0100 x 2283