The areas of labor, employment, and safety exposure which present very real threats to the distribution industry. There are several reasons for this increased focus on these types of business:
■Distribution is a huge market for plaintiff lawyers who want business, unions who need members, and government agencies seeking to be relevant in the new workplace.
■The Administration and third party groups such as “Occupy Wall Street” spin offs, are critical of the often non-union supply chain process. The Wage Hour Director wrote a scathing book titled, The Fissured Workplace: Why Work Became Back So Bad For So Many And What Can Be Done To Improve It. The book raises valid concerns, but you won’t like the proposed “fixes” of more regulation and encouragement of unionization.
■You may also suffer ancillary damage resulting from attacks on your customers. Third parties may attack suppliers and distributors as a way of bringing pressure on the customer. Or unions may try to embarrass a distributor’s customers in order to force the distributor to “voluntarily”recognize a union.
Embarrassment & Public Attacks Are the New Organizing Tool
Unions and other third parties have never before so heavily used public embarrassment as a means of organizing employees. The key to union organizing is to find a disgruntled employee who will serve as a leader and capitalize on existing workplace problems. These problems are typically compounded by communications breakdowns and ineffective supervisors. Surveys show that the most divisive workplace issues are a sense of unfairness, discrimination, an unsafe workplace, and a sense that the employer does not care about employees.