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Book details
  • Genre:BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
  • SubGenre:Labor
  • Language:English
  • Pages:90
  • eBook ISBN:9781467572552

How a Blog Held Off the Most Powerful Union in America

by Paul Levy

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Overview
The decline in private sector unions in America is well documented, but some unions have bucked this trend, most notably the 2.1 million member Service Employees International Union. Its former president liked to say: “We use the power of persuasion first. If it doesn’t work, we try the persuasion of power.” The targets of SEIU’s corporate campaigns find themselves on the defensive and, tied to traditional public responses, are often flummoxed by the intensity and thoroughness of the SEIU’s efforts. There is, however, a new arrow in the quiver that can be used by firms that are being attacked in a corporate campaign. Social media offers an effective remedy, if used early, thoughtfully, and decisively. This book tells the story of one such counter-campaign, a story of how a blog held off the most powerful union in America. With a foreword by Professor David P. Boyd, D'Amore-McKim School of Business, Northeastern University.
Description
The decline in private sector unions in America is well documented, but some unions have bucked this trend, most notably the 2.1 million member Service Employees International Union. Its former president liked to say: “We use the power of persuasion first. If it doesn’t work, we try the persuasion of power.” The targets of SEIU’s corporate campaigns find themselves on the defensive and, tied to traditional public responses, are often flummoxed by the intensity and thoroughness of the SEIU’s efforts. There is, however, a new arrow in the quiver that can be used by firms that are being attacked in a corporate campaign. Social media offers an effective remedy, if used early, thoughtfully, and decisively. This book tells the story of one such counter-campaign, a story of how a blog held off the most powerful union in America. With a foreword by Professor David P. Boyd, D'Amore-McKim School of Business, Northeastern University. "What a fascinating story! This is a powerful lesson in winning a battle of perception with the modern tools of transparency and internet speed." Roni Zeiger MD, CEO Smart Patients. “Corporate campaigns by unions seek to bypass secret ballot elections that are provided for workers under current law. It was the genius of Paul Levy to capitalize on that anti-democratic deficiency in the union’s approach by shining the full light of exposure on this tactic. Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis said that “Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants” and Paul’s use of social media and his blog was just the disinfectant needed to show a curious public that SEIU’s campaign against Beth Israel Deaconess was no public service, but a frequently outrageous effort at self-promotion and union organizing without having to do the actual hard work of persuading employees to vote that a union was truly in the workers’ interest.” Kenneth C. Robbins, JD, President, Illinois Hospital Association (1983-2009). "Paul Levy, an innovative, caring, thoughtful, and strategic hospital CEO, writes convincingly how he used a blog, a low cost vehicle, to help counter a well-financed union corporate campaign that sought a neutrality agreement and card check. This fascinating story deserves to be read, it offers lots of insights and useful lessons." Fred K. Foulkes, Professor of Organizational Behavior, Boston University . "Just as we have seen Arab Spring erupt from chaos because of the use of new forms of social media, and Ai Weiwei thwart the Chinese government with his use of the internet to spread his freedom message, Paul Levy’s effective use of the blogosphere to frame and advance his side of a union-management conflict illustrates how leaders can use social media effectively in a modern era of health care and business. Levy artfully tells the story of getting his hospital’s message out without having a war chest to spend on public relations. His persistent and effective use of social media evened the playing field and allowed him to keep diverse audiences informed and engaged." Harris A. Berman, M.D., Boston
About the author
Paul F. Levy has led several complex organizations during a multi-faceted career. Most recently, he served as President and Chief Executive Officer of the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston from January 2002 to January 2011. BIDMC is one of the nation's preeminent academic health centers, providing state-of-the-art clinical care, research, and teaching in affiliation with Harvard Medical School. While in that position and afterwards, he has been an advocate for patient-driven care, eliminating preventable harm, transparency of clinical outcomes, and front-line driven process improvement. He appears around the world as a speaker on these topics. He is author of a widely read blog (now) entitled "Not Running a Hospital," and was one of very few hospital CEOs to have shared thoughts publicly about hospitals, medicine, and health care issues. Before BIDMC, Levy was the Executive Dean for Administration at Harvard Medical School. Before joining HMS, he was Adjunct Professor of Environmental Policy at MIT, where he taught infrastructure planning and development and environmental policy for seven years. He also maintained an independent consulting practice, providing strategic, negotiation, and regulatory advice to firms in the energy, water, and telecommunications arenas. Mr. Levy has served as Executive Director of the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority, Chairman of the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities, and Director of the Arkansas Department of Energy. At the MWRA, he had primary responsibility for the "Boston Harbor Cleanup," one of the largest pollution control projects in the world. In operating the water transmission system for 46 communities at the MWRA, Mr. Levy carried out an aggressive demand management program which decreased water consumption by 15% over a three-year period. As Chairman at the MDPU, Paul Levy regulated the electricity, telecommunications, natural gas, and water utilities in Massachusetts. While at the Arkansas Department of Energy, Mr. Levy directed energy programs, planning, policy and advocacy for the State, including such areas as energy conservation, renewable and fossil energy resource development, and regulatory and legislative matters. During much of this time, Levy coached and refereed youth soccer. Later, he started playing on an adult team. His book Goal Play! draws lessons from that soccer experience into the corporate setting.
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