Thursday, June 30, 2011

Union busting worse than we thought

Twenty years ago, 30 percent of employers threatened to shut down a plant if workers joined a union. Now it's 57 percent of all employers, according to a new study by the Institute for Social and Economic Research and Policy.

And, by the way, threatening to close a workplace is illegal.

The study is especially timely as the National Labor Relations Board is proposing that the election process be reformed to limit employer ability to attack union organizers. As The Huffington Post reports,
The report comes a week after the National Labor Relation Board proposed new rules that if adopted, could make the road to unionization easier by streamlining the election process and -- most critically -- shortening the length of time between organizers gathering a sufficient number of signatures from workers and a union vote.
Typically, elections take place within two months after a petition is filed. The new rules would shorten that time period, though it's unclear by how much. Labor advocates say that almost any compression of the time period would be a good thing: For employees seeking to join a union, each day that passes is another opportunity for the employer to engage in crushing -- and often successful -- anti-union strategies.
The same anti-worker corporations that attack workers' right to organize (and that rip off the taxpayers) are also prodding Republican candidates to attack the NLRB. According to The Hill,
A pro-business group asked Republican presidential candidates to make attacks on the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) a centerpiece of their campaigns.
The Workforce Fairness Institute (WFI) is pressing the GOP presidential contenders to take a more active role in opposing the NLRB, which stoked conservatives' ire by filing suit in an attempt to block Boeing from relocating a plant to South Carolina because of the state's right to work laws.

"Business owners and workers around the nation call on you to make opposing the NLRB’s job-killing actions a centerpiece of your campaign," wrote Fred Wszolek of WFI in a letter to the campaigns' managers, and to President Obama. "You can stand up for business owners, workers, job creation and the rule of law by doing so."
Very, very nice.