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05 Feb
Exploiting Weakness

It is no secret that I was once the “enemy”. I spent many hours persuading employees to “believe” that the union was the key solution for all of their problems. Now that I runa company that goes toe-to-toe with very same unions I once collaborated with, I am always asked how employees go from being upset about issues (or concerns) to calling a union organizer for “a voice”. Have you ever wondered how a union organizer gets the workers so emotional that they will do almost anything to defy their company to thepoint of being insubordinate to management? There are a few principles that have to take place before an organizer can get their teeth into your workers minds. Read More “Exploiting Weakness”

05 Feb
Emotions – Fear and Intimidation without Shame
Turning Trash into Gold

Management didn’t initially know who I was when I came through the door. This didn’t last long…

I made sure that the management staff became VERY aware of my presence, subtly at first, and without disrupting the workers enthusiasm. The same way that I knew EVERYTHING there was to know about the worker’s; I knew just as much (and probably more) about the management staff. I knew where they lived and what their spouses did fora living. I knew what social clubs they belonged to and which churches they attended. Read More “Emotions – Fear and Intimidation without Shame”

05 Feb
Dumpster Diving
Turning Trash into Gold

Most people try to separate work from family. It’s one of those things that most Americans have trouble doing. We all know that it is important to keep work where it belongs, at work. This, of course, was not the case for me. I actually used people’s families to my advantage in order to succeed in heated union campaigns. I sat in front of worker’s homes in the middle of the night. Iknew what school’s my potential ‘victims’ children attended. But there is one event that will forever be in my mind. Read More “Dumpster Diving”

04 Feb
Driving a Tribal Mentality
How Unions Lead Workers Against Their Self-Interest

Understanding the tribal mentality of unions can help your organization stay union-free.

Ricardo Torres – President & CEO

In my past, I have served in many high-level union roles, a small sampling of which includes:
•National Strike Director
•National Organizing Director
•Organizing Strategist
•Lobbyist on behalf of the AFL/CIO
•PAC Coordinator
•Constitution Committee Member
•Global Outreach Coordinator Read More “Driving a Tribal Mentality”

04 Feb
Could the NLRA become a Pro-Union Manifesto?
Exploring Captive-Audience Meetings from a Union Organizer’s Perspective

This is a companion piece to our recent InsideEdge newsletter of the same title.That piece examines a recent pro-union, “equal opportunity” gag rule petition that 106 professor and academics submitted to the NLRB that would force employers to pay for the privilege of letting the union communicate with their employees. Read More “Could the NLRA become a Pro-Union Manifesto?”

04 Feb
Common Enemy
If the unions truly want to unite to gain membership and power they need a common enemy. The union leadership has known for many years that the future of the union movement lies at with the younger generation. During the IMF protest in the U.S., the AFL/CIO was holding meetings with college students to tap into their energy in order to redirect their efforts to help the labor movement. Read More “Common Enemy”

04 Feb
Closed for Business
I recently read with interest about the Tavern on the Green restaurant (a New York City landmark) which was forced to cease operations during contract negotiations with the New York Hotel and Motel Trades Council union (AFL-CIO). The owner, Dean Poll, owns another restaurant in Central Park called the Boathouse.Poll leases both restaurants from the city and currently is faced with the same union as they are currently trying to organize workers at the Boathouse. Read More “Closed for Business”

04 Feb
Aug 2011: No Time Limit How to Organize an Entire Hospital
As I sat at my desk writing my thoughts about the proposed changes tothe union election process in a letter to the National Labor Relations Board in order to put my objections into public record, I began reflecting on the time I testified to Congress (Kennedy/Miller Committee) with regards to the Employee Free Choice Act (H.R. 800). During my testimony I was asked how the speed of a union election is beneficial to the employee voting for representation. Read More “Aug 2011: No Time Limit How to Organize an Entire Hospital”

04 Feb
All about “the Numbers” Labor’s Definition of Winning
In the 1990’s, the United Steelworkers (USW) decided to change history in the way they approached organizing in culturally diverse workforces. One example of how difficult it was to organize these areas was the UAW’s push to organize Mexican Industries, a large auto supplier in the Detroit metropolitan area. In the 90’s, the UAW fought two unsuccessful campaigns in which the employees ultimately chose to maintain their union-free privileges and sent the UAW packing after wasting large amounts of money in their failed organizing attempts. As an International Director of Organizing, Ricardo Torres developed a detailed plan for the USW to accomplish the goal of infiltrating culturally diverse areas. To do this, the USW gambled on a strategy that the UAW failed to use, and organized a large number of culturally diverse workers who felt discontent with the unions. It was a successful new strategy that unions continue to use to this day. Read More “All about “the Numbers” Labor’s Definition of Winning”

28 Jan
A Tale of Tube City – When a Union-Free Company Lets the Union Select Job Candidates
While I was working as a union official, it was very rare for any medium-to-large organizing campaign to be won with 100% of the votes. The one and only time my team and I experienced it was due to a serious miscalculation on the company’s part. Read More “A Tale of Tube City – When a Union-Free Company Lets the Union Select Job Candidates”

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