The System for Forming Unions is Broken
Today, CEOs get contracts that protect their wages and benefits. But some deny their employees the same opportunity. Although U.S. and international laws are supposed to protect workers' freedom to belong to unions, employers routinely harass, intimidate, coerce and even fire workers struggling to gain a union so they can bargain for better lives. And U.S. labor law is powerless to stop them. Employees are on an uneven playing field from the first moment they begin exploring whether they want to form a union, and the will of the majority often is crushed by brutal management tactics.
Cornell University scholar Kate Bronfenbrenner studied hundreds of organizing campaigns and found that:
Ninety-two percent of private-sector employers, when faced with employees who want to join together in a union, force employees to attend closed-door meetings to hear anti-union propaganda; 80 percent require supervisors to attend training sessions on attacking unions; and 78 percent require that supervisors deliver anti-union messages to workers they oversee.
Seventy-five percent hire outside consultants to run anti-union campaigns, often based on mass psychology and distorting the law.
Half of employers threaten to shut down partially or totally if employees join together in a union.
In 25 percent of organizing campaigns, private-sector employers illegally fire workers because they want to form a union.
Even after workers successfully form a union, in one-third of the instances, employers do not negotiate a contract.