LABOR RELATIONS

The relationships you have with your employees are critical to the success of your business. In today’s ever-evolving political and economic climate, these relationships can also be the most vulnerable.

The IRI Labor Relations team brings with it a wide range of expertise – from former labor-management executives, to National Labor Relations Board lawyers and former union organizers. Together, we offer the optimal mix of experience and perspectives to help you successfully maintain direct relationships with your people while building a more open and productive culture.

Labor Campaigns

We work with organizations to plan and implement successful educational campaigns designed to inform employees about the true impact and cost of unionization in the workplace. Our campaigns focus on employees’ rights, the importance of their voice and highlights the limits of what a union can do, regardless of union promises.

Campaigns often include countering petitions or decertifying existing unions under the National Labor Relations Act, the Railway Labor Act and public sector campaigns under state labor laws. Central to every effort is closely working with, educating and engaging the leadership.

Education and Training

IRI has a number of proven labor relations and employee relations training programs that can be tailored to any organization’s needs and culture. Our trainings range from brief Board or executive team overviews to 4-hour management training sessions to week-long programs to help our clients train and build their own internal labor relations teams.

Strike Contingency Planning

Strikes can be very damaging to a business. Customers, patients or clients may turn to competitors if services or products are not available when needed – sometimes permanently. 


Our consultants help ensure leaders are well equipped and ready in the event of a strike, and able to maintain business continuity and manage external relations. Understanding management’s rights and how to protect the company, its employees and its reputation during a strike all require the careful planning and support –something we have the experience and know-how to provide.

Labor Relations Readiness System

With representation elections occurring within 2-4 weeks from receipt of a petition, management often is not sufficiently prepared to launch an educational campaign that can effectively overcome what may have been a lengthy organization effort. The foundation of IRI’s Labor Readiness System is labor knowledge and training for every leader in the organization pre-petition, so that conversations between leaders and employees about union representation are comfortable and effective. 

 

Our training is supplemented by regular written updates that reinforce learning activities about topics related to union representation, including recent events, changes in the law and other critical matters. IRI’s training is further enhanced with regular (monthly or quarterly) in-person group meetings. An election plan with detailed tasks and responsibilities is tailored to the individual client to ensure that the organization is as ready as they can be in the event they receive a petition. 

 

The readiness plan also includes a bargaining unit analysis (job titles that would be included in a potential bargaining unit) and what positions would be considered supervisory or confidential and therefore exempt from union representation.     

Union Contract Negotiations Strategy and Communications

Union contract negotiations are often critical to the ongoing success of the company. How communications are conducted – including messaging to management, employees, media and community leaders – is also a key component to success. It can be the difference between successful negotiations and allowing misinformation to lead to a strike.

We provide support from the start, identifying what is most important to an organization during negotiations – whether it is certain wage or employee benefits, changes in work rules or establishing limits on union rights under the contract – and offer strategic guidance on effectively communicating during this important process.

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