Now that you’ve gone public with your demands, the boss is going to respond. It’s time for inoculation. Here’s what to expect and how to prepare your co-workers for those conversations so that they feel prepared.
You’ve worked hard to identify issues in your workplace, bring together workplace leaders, and get a majority of your co-workers on board. Now it’s time to think about how your boss will respond. The more you can prepare for pushback, the more confident and united you’ll be in continuing to fight the good fight for a union.
What is inoculation?
Inoculation means bracing yourself for a whole host of possible reactions from the boss so you can feel confident in standing firm. Think of it as a type of emotional preparedness.
Inoculation will help you maintain control of the conversation and stick to the issues. It will help you recognize manipulative, controlling tactics for exactly what they are — tactics — and avoid being swayed by them.
To inoculate yourself and your co-workers, ask yourself why the boss might oppose your demands and be against a union. What might they say? What might they do? How will they try to convince you to give up or settle for less than you deserve?
Keep in mind, your boss will be ready with tools, tricks, and traps that employers have used for decades to silence employees. Let’s explore what those might look like.
The boss campaign
Depending on your workplace and the personalities involved, your boss will wage a campaign to resist your demands. This campaign might vary in tone, from seemingly nice to hostile. Don’t be fooled by the seemingly nice stuff.
For example, the boss might make small concessions to placate you and make it seem like they care without actually addressing your concerns. They might say, “We’re a family,” or “We can’t afford it,” to make you feel guilty. They might appeal to your sense of loyalty or self-sacrifice. It’s important to remember that whatever they do, they’re trying to beat you, and that’s all the more reason for you and your co-workers to keep up the fight for a union.
Want to learn more? Check out this short video on the EWOC training for inoculation and the boss campaign.
When you’re done watching the video, register for the entire EWOC training series. You’ll learn a lot and meet other worker organizers like yourself. Let’s join together and win!
The rest of our five-part organizer training series can be found on our blog.