Fortune's world's most admired metal companies are unionized.

28.03.2012

If you have read or seen materials produced by some of the world's biggest union busting companies then you would be convinced that it's not possible to have a successful company that's unionized. These companies talk of unions as third parties forgetting that unions are made up of ordinary working people who are major stakeholders in the companies they work for.

GLOBAL: What the union busters cannot explain is that in the most recent Fortune 1000 list of the world's most admired companies 9 out of the top 10 companies are organized in the metal sector. According to CNN Money the most admired list is the definitive report card on corporate reputations. A total of 698 companies from 32 countries were surveyed, and the result is a ringing endorsement for unionization. Not only are many of the companies most admired by executives, directors and security analysts organized, but they have some of the highest unionization rates around. The survey looked at nine criteria from investment value to sustainability.

Trade unionists believe, and that seems backed up by these facts, is that as a member of a union, workers have a real say in what happens on the job and that's a good thing. Working together and having a strong voice in workplace decisions makes for better communications. Arguing that unionization means workers and management can no longer function as one team without outside influence just does not hold up to scrutiny. Tata Steel one of the companies listed has been working with its local union in Jamshedpur India since 1920. In recent times this plant has won World Steel Dynamics award for the World's Best Steel Plant four times as a result of a team working culture.

Rob Johnston IMF Executive Director said, "Telling the whole story about unionization is important and if more companies put as much effort into working with unions in a proactive way rather than spending millions on preventing unionization the results would be evident."

A company's response to organizing activities often demonstrates its true motivation and the role that it sees workers having in its decision making processes. When a company is open to unionization and open to the workers decisions then there is a good foundation for success. When it hides behind misinformation or fear tactics and relies on intimidation it cannot believe in teamwork or the rights of its workforce to chose. How can it be a team if one of the partners makes all the decisions and won't allow the other a choice?