Intimidating actions by unions
Workers that consider forming a union today face an undemocratic system and are frequently intimidated by their employer.A new report by the Center for Economic and Policy Research finds that in 2007 at least one pro-union worker was fired during 30 percent of union election processes, and pro-union activists faced a more than 20 percent chance of being fired.
The Employee Free Choice Act is a sensible reform that would protect workers’ right to join together in unions and make it harder for management to threaten workers seeking to organize a union, but conservatives are waging war against the bill.For every 1 percent increase in union density, voter turnout increases by .2 to .25 percent. By passing the Employee Free Choice Act, Congress can support workers’ democratic right to bargain for their fair share, raise the wages of working men and women, and pump billions of dollars into the American economy.The bill would allow workers rather than corporations—as under current law—the choice to organize a union through a simple majority sign-up process—a system that works well at the small number of workplaces that choose to permit it.The Employee Free Choice Act will restore balance to the union election process by allowing workers the choice to organize a union through a simple majority sign-up process—a system that works well at the small number of workplaces that choose to permit it, raising penalties when the law is violated and promoting productive first contract negotiations with a mediation and arbitration option.Today, millions of American workers are denied their right to form a union because the process of voting on union formation has been corrupted.More than 90 percent of companies legally force workers to attend anti-union meetings that include “one-on-one conversations” with supervisors.
According to research by University of Oregon Professor Gordon Lafer, workers often face pressure from their direct supervisors—the person with the most control over their job—to reveal their private preferences for the union.
Yet, that is exactly what many union elections look like today.
Nevertheless, there are still workplaces where workers successfully form a union. Often it’s to bargain with the new union in bad faith by using delay tactics and stalling the negotiation of a first contract indefinitely.
With a new Congress, and President Obama’s promise to sign the bill, the Employee Free Choice Act has a strong chance of becoming law.
For the past few years, some conservatives as well as a host of CEOs have been waging a multi-million dollar campaign to defeat the bill, and they have recently ramped up the intensity of their campaign.
When Wal-Mart CEO Lee Scott was asked at an analyst meeting on October 28, 2008 about the Employee Free Choice Act, he stated: "We like driving the car and we’re not going to give the steering wheel to anybody but us." The campaign against the Employee Free Choice Act often relies on mischaracterization and twisted “facts” that deserve closer scrutiny.