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Wait! A Simple Way to Win Labor Agreements

Learning how to "wait well" can help you win.

Learning how to “wait well” can help you win.

Do you like to wait?

I didn’t think so. Neither do I.

I don’t like to wait in line at the grocery store, or sit in traffic on the freeway or bide my time at the doctor’s office in the “waiting room” only to be taken to another room where the waiting game begins all over again.

Who does?

But labor union leaders who learn how to “wait well,” win.

Wait and See

A few years ago, I was working with an out-of-town employer who had contracted with our union for crew to support a large trade show at the convention center. The trade show was so big it spilled into some of the hotels where I noticed that our employer had hired “unrepresented” workers.

We talked about this with the employer who decided against honoring our request to pay union wages and benefits (health care, pension and vacation) at the hotel site.

Of course, we were frustrated. We didn’t have an agreement with the employer so we couldn’t “grieve” him for a contract violation. And under the circumstances, grieving him would have taken too long and would not have given us the results we were seeking.

So we waited. We waited until our crew began working at the convention center and then advised the employer that we would stop working unless he put together an agreement to pay union convention rates at the hotel site.

And so he did.

Of course, we got that agreement in writing. Always cross your “t’s” and dot your “i’s.”

And be patient. The wait is worth the reward.

Photo Credit: jeffk via Compfight cc

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About the Author:
FX Crowley is a Public Affairs and Labor Relations Specialist, and former 15-year Business Manager of IATSE Local 16, San Francisco. A third-generation San Franciscan, FX can break down any football game from Pop Warner to the Pros and analyze it for hours. Contact to learn more ››