How Restaurants Can Prevent Unionization with Transparency

Ryan A. O'Donnell
QSR Magazine

Ryan O’Donnell, chair of Pullman & Comley’s Hospitality practice, authored an article for QSR Magazine about steps quick service restaurants can take to avoid union organizing activity. He notes that employers need to recognize signs of unionization early in order to work with employees to find solutions.

“The successful quick serve business model demands operational flexibility and innovation—two areas stifled by a unionized work force,” Ryan writes. “As such, quick server owners and operators need to understand how to identify organizing campaigns before they begin and, in turn, how to create cultures resilient to union agitation and organizing efforts.”

Employees often seek unionization because they feel powerless or disrespected, he says. Steps employers can take to thwart union organization include providing a consistent stream of communication through a variety of mediums and methods; seeking meaningful employee feedback, and where appropriate, implementing changes; maintaining a genuine open-door policy; addressing internal complaints quickly and transparently; and providing clear pathways to career advancement, increased earnings and more responsibilities.

“Nothing drives employees into Big Labor’s arms faster than poor communication, inconsistent policies and procedures, favoritism, and lack of opportunity,” Ryan writes. “As such, QSR employers should resist the temptation to focus solely on economic issues, and look at the deeper, systemic factors that spark union organizing campaigns.”

To read the full article, visit the QSR website.



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