Weekly Union Member Tips

Using Grievances Tactically

A very effective tactic to put pressure on an employer is for the union to organize a large number of employees to each file an individual grievance on a particular matter. This requires a much bigger expenditure of time and effort on the employer’s part, as it is forced to individually process numerous grievances. And it may send the clearest message of all that there is a problem to be dealt with, and that that problem has been identified as such by a great many individuals, not “just the union.” And there are creative ways to process a grievance through the procedural steps so as to involve and educate members as well as put pressure on the employer. For example, many contracts contain provisions authorizing a grievant to be released from normal work duties to prepare for or to participate in grievance meetings with the employer. So if the union has chosen to file a large number of individual grievances, rather than one grievance covering all the affected individuals, the employer will have to contend with releasing quite a few people from their normal work assignments.

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