Employers Up Anti-Union Tactics: Report

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When employees try to organize, in 34% of the campaigns to recruit workers were fired; employers threatened to close plants in 57% of the campaigns analyzed and in 47% of the cases reviewed

[Labor]

Employers are using more aggressive tactics, including firing more workers when they try to organize, says a new report out today by a Cornell University professor.

When employees try to organize, in 34% of the campaigns to recruit workers studied in the report, they were fired; employers threatened to close plants in 57% of the campaigns analyzed and in 47% of the cases reviewed employers threatened to cut wages and benefits, according to the study “No Holds Barred: The Intensification of Employer Opposition to Organizing.”

The report was prepared by Professor Kate Bronfenbrenner, director of Labor Education Research at Cornell’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations.  Many companies in the private sector are using the tactics, says the report.

The study is based on a survey of 1,004 union elections supervised by the National Labor Relations Board.

Prof.  Bronfenbrenner’s report found that employers now use 10 or more types of antiunion tactics in 49 percent of recruitment campaigns; this is an increase from 26 percent she found in a study 12 years ago.

"In the NLRB election process in which it is standard practice for workers to be subjected to threats, interrogation, harassment, surveillance, and retaliation for union activity,” says the report.

“In 63% of elections employers used supervisor one-on-one meetings to interrogate workers about who they or other workers supported, and in 54% used such sessions to threaten workers," adds the report. Such one-on-one meetings and interrogations over workers’ union preferences are illegal.

"In 2007 there were only 1,510 representation elections and only 58,376 workers gained representation through the NLRB. Even for those who do win the election, 52% are still without a contract a year later, and 37% are still without a contract two years after an election,” the report adds.

“Unless serious labor law reform with real penalties is enacted, only a fraction of the workers who seek representation under the National Labor Relations Act will be successful. If recent trends continue, then there will no longer be a functioning legal mechanism to effectively protect the right of private-sector workers to organize and collectively bargain," the report also notes.




The full report is available at:
http://epi.3cdn.net/edc3b3dc172dd1094f_0ym6ii96d.pdf

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