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December 07, 2005

Anti-Unionism is the Date Rape of Corporate Crime

Even most liberals deny anti-union crime is widespread or deny that it's even a serious crime at all and anyways the folks doing it are such swell people, we can't expect us to like treat them like criminals, do you?  If unions have been decimated in American workplaces, it's must really be their fault-- they must have been asking for it.   You know, when you wear such pretty medical care and pension funds, employers are just being normal, red-blooded capitalists when they wipe out unions to get at them.

If you wonder why I get angry when folks say nice things about corporate criminal union busters like Wal-Mart, maybe you should read the new report by American Rights at Work which details the extent and severity of that corporate crime wave, a crime wave where tens of thousands of workers are victimized each year with stolen jobs and crushed lives.

As this study highlights, a typical union organizing drive starts with a majority of workers signing cards in support of having a union.    Yet in the course of the elections, corporations embark on full-scale illegal assault on their workforce:

  • 30% of employers fire pro-union workers.
  • 49% of employers threaten to close a worksite when workers try to form a union.
  • 51% of employers coerce workers into opposing unions with selective bribery or favoritism.

    The end result is that despite starting almost every union drive with majority support, by the time the corporate wave of crime is over, only 31% of union elections end with a vote in support of the union.

    But look, I'm a realistic. Most people will hear about the report, say tssk, tssk-- and next week you'll be talking about union leaders inflexibility or other failings as the explanation for the lack of unions in American workplaces, despite the fact that 50% OF WORKERS SAY THEY WANT ONE! [Business Week: "Fully half of all nonunion U.S. workers say they would vote yes if a union election were held at their company today"}

    Given this degree of corporate criminality, how are labor folks supposed to take liberals seriously who even discuss Wal-Mart or other big croporate criminals as a "progressive" force? This is a company that shut down a whole store in Canada when it voted to unionize to punish the workers and chill organizing at any of its other stores.

    But I understand-- illegal anti-union activity isn't "real crime" so it's okay to debate whether Wal-Mart is a "progressive" force.

    Posted by Nathan at December 7, 2005 06:50 AM