Five Tips for Remaining Union-Free

Employee & Labor Relations
Organization Development

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History is an amazing thing. In particular, the history of labor and employee relations in the United States has an interesting evolution with some impactful lessons. In the early days of the industrial revolution, several prominent entrepreneurs rose to become known as “The Men Who Built America.” Several names resonate, such as the Vanderbilt tie to railroads; the Rockefeller connection to the oil industry; the Carnegie link to the steel industry; the Morgan bond to banking; and the Ford name to the automobile industry. Behind their great success is a dark history of poor and unsafe working conditions, low pay, long hours, abusive management, and armed rebellions where many lost their lives.

One standout among this crowd was George Westinghouse—a pioneer of the railway air brake and electrical industry. American Federation of Labor founder Samuel Gompers once said, “If all business leaders and moguls treated their employees as well as George Westinghouse, there’d be no need for any labor unions.” The practices of Westinghouse are just as applicable today, nearly 150 years later, to creating successful, engaged places of work as well to remaining union-free.

To help achieve successful, union-free work environments, the following five principles can be applied...

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