Tag Archives for " labor relations "

Who is the Voice of the Employee?

  • November 8, 2019

I ran across an article by a long-time friend from Florida this week that I thought was interesting. Blogger Sharlyn Lauby who writes on the highly regarded HR Bartender blog shared her thoughts on the idea of a new employee-employer social contract developing in society and the potential role labor unions might play in that equation.

Leaders should the voice of the employer inside the organization.

Sharlyn writes:

“A few weeks ago, I mentioned that I took a MOOC (massive open online course) from MIT on “Shaping Work of the Future”. One of the topics that I felt the course spent a lot of time on was the idea of a new employee-employer social contract. This totally makes sense to me.

As they were talking about the key stakeholders in the new social contract, they mentioned labor unions. It got me thinking. The latest numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show union participation at about 10.5 percent or roughly 14.7 million people. That’s a significant decrease from 1983 when the first union membership data was available, and the rate was 20.1% and 17.7 million workers.

I’m sure you’ve been paying attention to the recent autoworker strikes. Or the teacher strikes. On some level, these are classic labor-management disagreements about pay, benefits, and working conditions. Organizations have been showing healthy profit lines for a few years now (since the Great Recession). And we know from the monthly jobs reports that employee wages are not increasing at a comparable rate.

But as I’ve been reading about these labor and management challenges, it reminded me of this conversation about the new employee-employer contract and unions. Is it possible that labor unions can and will fin a way to reinvent themselves? Will labor unions become more than an organization that fights for employee pay and benefits?”

For those of us that follow labor unions regularly, we know that to a large extent, labor unions, worker centers, and social justice/activist groups have been acting as the voice of workers for several years, especially on issues like Fight for $15, paid leave and equitable work schedules.

The efforts of these groups have made serious inroads on these issues, especially at the state and municipal levels. They have been very effective at advocating on behalf of all employees, and especially those whom they refer to as “low wage employees”. The irony is that these efforts have not translated into a rise in union membership. Data shows that millennials and other new cohorts entering the labor market embrace the concept of labor unions as a force for improving the workplace, but they are not joining unions in droves except in very limited workspaces like adjunct faculty, or online digital media.

Millennials are more supportive of labor unions than generations before them. A 2018 Gallup poll showed that 66 percent of people ages 18 to 34 approve of labor unions, compared to 60 percent of people ages 35 to 54 and 62 percent of people ages 55 and older.

The potential for a rise in membership exists today, but unions still have much working against them, including their own leadership. Corruption scandals like those facing the UAW aren’t helping add credibility to the reputation or brand of organized labor.

All of this is interesting and definitely worth keeping an eye on. Right now, we are seeing what could the first serious formal union organizing efforts developing in New York City right now as SEIU takes aim at McDonald’s and Chipotle with wages and fair scheduling being two of their main issues.


Fight for $15 returns to NYC with Chipotle in its crosshairs

Chipotle -Fast, Casual, and Out of Control

The movement to make workers’ schedules more humane

Labor’s next $15 minimum wage: Fair scheduling for shift workers

Fall 2019 CUE Conference Keynote Speaker and Topics

  • August 15, 2019

We are just sixty days away from the Fall 2019 CUE Conference in Las Vegas. There are lots of HR conferences where you might hear an update on a NLRB case law, or a company sharing one of their best employee relations practices, but there is only one HR community in which the members live and breathe positive employee relations.

There is no HR conference like a CUE conference.

Learn more here!

CUE is THE only conference where you get transparent sharing on campaign case studies, including mistakes that were made and opportunities to do better, and leadership discussions from the bleeding edge, along with glimpses into the internal operations of leading companies trying to build the best workplaces in the world.

Everything about a CUE conference is a little bit different and a little bit better than your average HR conference. We provide all your meals, and we don’t serve box lunches. We DO serve cocktails and offer great learning and networking opportunities.

Everything about a CUE conference is a little bit different and a little bit better than your average HR conference. We provide all your meals, and we don’t serve box lunches. We DO serve cocktails and offer great learning and networking opportunities.



Your CUE conference experience starts on Sunday afternoon where we offer a great combination of learning and networking.

New to CUE or labor relations? Join us for a 1-hour session on the basics of labor relations 101 at 3:15 PM and be sure to attend our first-time attendees orientation and networking event at 5:15 PM.

Want updates on labor and employee relations developments? Choose one of our Sunday Side Conversation sessions at 4:15 PM where you can learn how to Collaborate with Your Business Partners to Remain Union Free or hear about how to Respond to a Card Signing Campaign. Ask any labor relations questions you may have for our Ask the Experts panel at 5:15 PM.

Finally, join us for dinner and drinks at our Grand Opening Reception and Networking Event on Sunday at 6:00 PM.

On Monday, we have another day packed with learning opportunities covering a wide variety of topics. Enjoy a full breakfast, and then get set to turn your learning up to 11!

Into labor and employee relations? We’ve got a lot for you to learn about, including:

  • Labor Relations in Mexico @ 7:00 AM
  • An election campaign case study covering card signing from Marzetti
  • An election campaign case study from Pacific Western Transportation
  • Independent Contractors: Labor Law and Misclassification
  • Maintaining a Non-Union Workforce in a Union Environment
  • Managing in a Union Environment: The ABC’s of Positive Union Relationships

Need a dose of leadership goodness, and a dollop of best practices?

We will kick off with our conference keynote speaker, Ryan Avery who will show us how to Go From A to THE®: Stop Being A Leader. Start Being THE Leader!

Ryan Avery – THE Keynote Speaker

Ryan Avery

Visit Ryan’s Website | Check out Ryan’s Video

Other sessions include:

  • A culture case study on creating a collaborative work environment
  • A look at the impact of marijuana legalization: Is Drug Testing Up in Smoke?
  • Male-to-Female: A Transgender CEO’s Story

At lunch, we will have discussion tables featuring learning topics including social media and PER, and many others.

Monday evening, we will be hosting a laidback tailgate themed networking event at the hotel. This will begin at 5:30 PM and end at 7:30 PM for those who may want to partake of some of the Las Vegas nightlife. Drop by for a drink before heading out to dinner, or stay with us for dinner, drinks, and some football on the big screen.

On Tuesday, you get more of the same great learning starting with an early morning bonus session on AI and Its Impact on the Working World. From there, we will be covering labor and employee relations topics including:

  • The Future of Union Organizing
  • What’s Happening at the NLRB? – a moderated Q&A with Board member Marvin Kaplan and Roger King
  • Managing Union vs. Union-Free: Open Door/Grievance and Arbitration and Discipline At-Will vs. Just Cause

Our best practices and leadership sessions include:

  • You’ve Done an Engagement Survey – Now What?
  • Diversity & Positive Employee Relations
  • Winning Hearts & Minds via Communications

How NOT to Gamble with Your Positive Employee Relations
October 13-15, 2019 • Las Vegas, Nevada

Join us in Las Vegas for THE best labor and employee relations conference you will ever attend. If you aren’t a CUE member, drop me a note and I will be happy to share how joining CUE can save you $500 on your registration and get you started on a year-round focus on Positive Employee Relations.

Upskill Your ER Staff with Union Campaign Simulation and CUE Cert Course in Minneapolis

  • August 17, 2018

Upskill Your ER Staff with Union Campaign Simulation and CUE Cert Course in Minneapolis

CUE Newsletter for Friday, August 17, 2018

It won’t be a shock if you follow politics, but it looks like the 2018 midterm elections and the general election in 2020 will be driven by a sharply divided population with Democrats leaning progressively left more than ever, and the Republicans continuing their veer to the conservative right under President Trump.

According to The Hill, Bernie Sanders and democratic socialism increasingly look to be winning over the Democratic Party, raising concerns among some Democrats about whether it could hurt the party in this year’s midterms, and the presidential race of 2020.

Bernie Sanders lost the war but won the battle to reshape the party,” said Brad Bannon, a Democratic strategist.

Peter List points out that Senator Elizabeth Warren just proposed new legislation, that if it were ever to pass, will “destroy capitalism,” according to Jeffrey Miron, Harvard director of undergraduate studies.

This California bill would mandate women on company boards.

And it’s not just politics, as can be seen in this article shared by Terry Dunn. Check out the start-up incubator known as The Workers Lab. The Workers Lab is a union-backed accelerator working on ways to disrupt capitalism.

CUE Labor and Employee Relations Certification Course
Do you have members of your HR or Operations team who are new to employee and labor relations and need to upskill? The CUE Certification course is the perfect way to help them get up to speed. Offered once a year as part of the CUE Conference, the Certification course offers sessions spread over 3 days devoted to teaching staff the basic elements of labor relations at the very low member price of $220.00.

9/24 Monday 1:15 – 4:45 PM Labor and Employee Relations Basics in the Workplace

9/25 Tuesday 1:15- 4:45 PM Basics of Labor Law

9/26 Wednesday 8:00 -11:30 AM – Election Campaign Simulation

The Wednesday campaign simulation is also available as a stand-alone post-conference workshop. (CUE members @ $160.00, non-members @ $200)

Fall 2018 CUE Conference

The Fall 2018 CUE Conference is the community event for leaders who believe in and promote positive employee relations in the workplace. With stellar networking opportunities built into the event and the most up-to-date information on labor/employee relations and engagement trends, CUE keeps you ahead of the curve in today’s rapidly changing labor environment!

Need a taste of what we will be talking about at CUE? Check out this TED talk from Justine Constantine: You Are Stronger Than You Think You Are

There’s no better time to register for the Fall 2018 CUE Conference. Members enjoy the full conference experience for $875. Non-members $1,250 Register here.

Hotel block rate available until August 31st at $219 a night: Hyatt Regency Minneapolis

Employee Engagement

Keynote: Leadership Approachability and Improving Retention – Phil Wilson

How Best Buy Fosters an Engaged Culture

Moving Beyond the Employee Survey

The Four Things Your Leaders Must Have to Be Successful: Soft Skills For Leaders (and why they matter now more than ever!)

Analytics and Assessments; the Science and Art of Preventing Dysfunction

Positive Employee Relations

Union Rebranding: A Look at Emerging Organizing Trends and How Best to Defend

2018 Labor Law and Policy Update

Labor Relations 101

Case Study: Minnesota Home Health Care Campaign

Case Study: Jimmy John’s Corporate Campaign

Anatomy of a Campaign – Peter List

The Robots are Coming! The Robots are Coming!

Driving Business Outcomes

Keynote: Beyond Political Correctness: Inclusion and Equality in Modern Employee Relations – Sarah Morgan

The Cost of Unionization and ROI of remaining union-free – Jim Gray

Using Virtual Reality to Improve Positive Employee Relations Training

Your Brand is in Trouble: Internal and External Crisis Communication Planning – Nick Kalm

“From We Will to At Will” – Justin Constantine

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