The need for employees to be unionized has remained one of the key areas of focus to many governments and labor organizations among other notable stakeholders. Fortney (2013) notes define a union as an organization that supports employees in a given workplace by becoming their advocate as well as fighting for their rights. For those organizations whose employees are not supposed to join unions such as Wal-Mart, the leading retail chain in the U.S., they have been targeted by unions, with the objective of forcing the firm to forcefully become unionized, even if their employees are unwilling to and this is attained through “salting campaigns”. Fortney (2013) indicates that, the main aim of the salting campaigns is to cripple or intimidate a nonunion organization, for them to become members. To achieve this they enforce practices that require money, fees, or dues. This paper will candidly look at the requirements which union executives can demand of new employees who want to become union members, the requirements for the new person to become a member of a particular union as well as the requirements for one to be recognized as a "key employee" by a union.
As indicated above, salting campaigns are aimed at making organizations which are not members of unions to join otherwise to waste their resources while defending acts of unfair practices. For a new employee, there are requirements which they must be fulfilled prior to becoming a union member (salt) (National Right to Work Legal Defense and Education Foundation, Inc. 2010). To start with, the member must have applied to the organization, which does not sign to the contracts of the union. During the time of application, the member must have concealed his/her union employment or membership. When the “salt” is hired, he/she must have the ability to organize the other employees, thus convincing the other employees that the firm they work for is unfair to all its employees. As a result, the “salt” quits, therefore giving the union a chance to file a charge against the company for unfair practices towards the salt. Secondly, the new employee wearing the clothing and hat of the union, clearly pointing out that he/she is a member of a given union.
Since the prospective employer will out rightly refuse to offer a job to the new employee, the union executives will get a chance to file charges against the company. To protect themselves, there is the need for organizations to ensure that, rules at work place are fair as well as non-discriminatory to all employees who are union sympathizers. For the salt to become “key employee”, he/she must continuously violate the company policies, by performing his duties poorly or activities relating to safety rules to the point of termination. Further, in those cases where the union feels that there is the chance to change the organization from within, the salt will become a “key employee”, by being able to significantly remain undercover up to the duration when he/she will discover the employees’ leanings to a union.
To most of the union executives, salting campaigns have served as a clear platform to finance unions. However, these have detrimental effects to the organization being targeted. This is due to the fact that, the targeted organizations spends their finances and resources filing cases regarding unfair labor practices. Since “salt campaigns” can be regarded as a tried-and-true way in which organizations which are not members of unions can be legally harassed, there is the need to embrace unions to prevent these occurrences (“Skilled Trades”, 2013). Through unions, the rights of the workers can be protected, thus ensuring maximum productivity, which in most cases translates to an increased profitability.