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