The Republicans’ relentless attack on labor unions continues with the state legislature’s recent anti-union legislation. That legislation hides behind a sanctimonious “concern” for the secret ballot, but it is grounded in a fear and loathing of collective bargaining.
Everyone should have the right to bargain about the value of his product, especially when that product is his labor. Basketball players get to, why shouldn’t your bank cashier?
If you’re a phone worker in a cubical, any hourly worker, a part-timer with no benefits, a housemaid at a resort hotel…in fact most of us nowadays…perhaps eking out a living with two jobs…you are expected to bargain alone.
Lots of luck. And if you’re suspected of wanting to bargain collectively it’s “so long, it’s been good to know you.”
The secret ballot prior to a union election is not quite like the secret ballot before a political election. In politics you might get a brochure or two…but you are not approached on a one-on-one basis and threatened with job loss if you don’t vote the boss’s way.
Findings from a new report reveal that most employers take full advantage of the opportunity to tread on workers’ rights to a “free choice” before a union representation vote. They do this by aggressively intimidating, harassing, and coercing workers in an effort to undermine union support.
Among employers faced with organizing campaigns:
30% of employers fire pro-union workers.
49% of employers threaten to close a worksite when workers try to form a union, but only 2% actually do.
51% of employers coerce workers into opposing unions with bribery or favoritism.
82% of employers hire high-priced unionbusting consultants to fight union organizing drives.
91% of employers force employees to attend one-on-one anti-union meetings with their supervisors.
One way to insure more freedom and less coercion in union elections is “majority sign-up.” In the meantime corporate CEOs are getting golden parachutes, and your bank cashiers (for instance) have to bargain alone.