Oaks Unionization Campaign
Strategies Used By Levitt to Break Copeland Oaks Unionization Campaign
The strategies used by Levitt include fear mongering, propaganda, help from retired CEOs to bad talk about the union and using other employees like Gerry who employed a divide and conquer strategy. Gerry could lie to workers that the union was to trade their Copeland benefits that they had become accustomed to. Levitt had figured which supervisors to work with and the ones not to work with. Levitt also used some workers like Alice, whom he trained and molded them to be the soldiers he wanted. Alice could reinforce Levitt’s anti-union campaign (Levitt, 1993).
After learning that fellow employees dreaded Claude Roe who was the director, Levitt tried to address employees’ concerns in a truce like letter with a message of “give us a chance” instead of taking the chances with Claude. He thus enlisted Claude’s top aides like Bill Hogg to act as the face of Copeland to the people. Bill, the home’s resident Methodist manager was a warm and friendly person, unlike Claude. Bill could later visit residents in Copeland Oaks and chat with the employees as well as conduct chapel services. He was very much liked and some girls even wished he was their director. For personal appeals, Levitt used Bill who was good at creating personal appeals and for the letters; he ensured that Claude signed them. Another of Claude’s assistant director, Gerry Sposato helped Bill’s gender issues. Gerry although not the perfect person for the job she had other advantages because she knew Copeland, her fellow supervisors and was well versed with the workers. She was good at reporting any anomalies she noted from her fellow supervisors or even directors to Levitt (Levitt, 1993).
Levitt later could meet the supervisors and tell them that the workers had declared war on them. He further warned them that the union will use their friendship with the employees as a weapon. He used a meeting with the employees to tell them of the wonderful life at Copeland before the unions arrived, which he accused of screwing things up. This way, he ensured that workers felt the tension of the union battle. The elderly, well respected by other workers were depicted as victims, thus making the union look evil. Thus, the union was projected to jeopardize their well being. The pressure on union proponents became unbearable. Old people were not manipulated by the union people, making them understand that they will lose their all in Copeland (Levitt, 1993).
However, the NLRB decided later that it did have a jurisdiction over Copeland thus granting workers to hold a representation election.