I am seeking for insight on Union environment. I have an interview Monday for a Construction company that has union employees. How bad is it to deal with a bargaining contract? Is it as bad as I hear? Speak to me Union experience?

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I cannot speak to the construction realm, but have many years working in some of the toughest Union environments in my industry (hotels with almost 1,000 unionized ee’s, including engineering unions). Southern California.
There are a few key basics I always cover with my leaders to help them to not get overwhelmed.
- Consider your Union as a business partner (not a competitor) whom you work with to provide the best for your employees and work to foster a positive working relationship with your union reps (this part can be hard and takes time)
- That being said, understand that Union reps and members often use intimidating language to try to get what they want. This is normal and they are usually trained on what to say. It’s important to just listen and stay collected.
- Over-communicate with the Union. Never make any major changes to policy or procedure without meeting with them first. Some changes may need to be negotiated (this goes both ways). If you’re going to suspend or terminate someone, inform the Union before, and even ask the rep to be present. This gives you, the employer, the chance to give your version of events first. Doing these things often prevents you from having to be defensive when the Union finds out about a major action from someone else (and usually with incorrect information).
- With your HR team and any non-Union leaders, it’s important for them to be visible and promote an open-door policy. Many times when employees feel that their manager is accessible and addresses their concerns, they don’t even feel the need to go to the Union.

I’m not sure if this might help give a little perspective. Good luck with your interview!

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What have you heard? I don't think I've seen unions negotiate on behalf of employees individually before

It is my understanding that dealings with Unions employees it's difficult because of their entitlement feelings, the barganing negotiations can take months etc.

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