Management Slanders Our Union

Question to Ask theĀ  Workplace Doctors about management bad mouthing union:

Our management is falsifying statements that they are saying the union said in order to cause distress and dissatisfaction with the union and its representatives and disharmony and stress on the workroom floor. What can we do about it?

Signed, Slandered

DearĀ Slandered:

Union and management issues seem to often be a source of conflict (maybe even, ALWAYS!). I would imagine the union representatives at your work have had some negative things to say about management in general,just as management has said some things about the union. In either case, it’s not a good thing to have that kind of animosity being displayed actively.

Your union likely has a national headquarters or regional office. Perhaps they could provide some assistance for mediating the conflict or at least calming it down. They might even have some stronger action they want to take, according to the nature of the remarks and whether management at your business has violated any labor regulations.Or, your union representatives could call for a truce of sorts and develop an agreement whereby both sides agree to communicate courteously with and about each other.The problem is that it could be individual supervisors and managers who make the remarks and they may not be acting on behalf of the highest levels of management, just on their own. In the same way, one union member could be making comments but not represent everyone else.Another issue is that if employees aren’t obligated to listen and believe. So, perhaps the union should do an internal advertising campaign where they tell their members to show some loyalty and not fall for everything they’re told.

On the other hand, it may be that there is at least some truth in what is being said and union members are justifiably unhappy–and would resent their union leadership for being upset over what employees see as needed information. If the managers making the negative statements are lower than the very top of the organization, perhaps your union can complain to the highest levels about this. Point out how disruptive and upsetting it can be. Maybe that will encourage those levels to control what is being said by others. I wish there was a magic way to solve this, but sadly there isn’t. It really is up to both the speaker AND the listener to keep things civil. However, seeking some advice from union executives or advisers could be very helpful. Best wishes about this matter.

Tina Lewis Rowe

Tina Lewis Rowe

Tina had a thirty-three year career in law enforcement, serving with the Denver Police Department from 1969-1994 and was the Presidential United States Marshal for Colorado from 1994-2002. She provides training to law enforcement organizations and private sector groups and does conference presentations related to leadership, workplace communications and customized topics. Her style is inspirational with humor.