Santa Barbara Politics, Media & Culture

Friday, January 05, 2007

The SDLG Center for Union Busting Studies

In a post a few months ago, I suggested we start a "Center for Union Busting Studies" in response to Travis Armstrong's continued invocation of Jimmy Hoffa and some Center for Union Studies which clearly has a pro-management agenda. As the sole benefactor or this organization, I am naming this virtual space after myself.

Kidding aside, here's a relevant article from the Associated Press about a sharp upturn in the firing of union activists as a way to bust union organizing attempts -- sounds like some people we know:

NEW YORK (AP) - A decline in union membership may be due to a sharp rise in firing of pro-union activists during union organizing campaigns, according to a study released Thursday.

The study, by the Center for Economic and Policy Research, a nonprofit think tank, analyzed published data from the National Labor Relations Board.

"Starting at the end of the 1970s, but especially by the early 1980s, American employers began to engage in the systematic and widespread use of illegal firings as a strategy to undermine the success of campaigns for union representation," the study's authors, John Schmitt and Ben Zipperer.

The authors say their paper "provides significant support" that "aggressive, even illegal, employer behavior has undermined the ability of U.S. workers to create unions at their work places.

The NLRB data used in the study comes from the agency's work reinstating workers who it finds have been illegally fired for being involved in union organizing campaigns. If the NLRB finds a worker has been illegally fired, that worker must be reinstated. The study used data on the number of NLRB-ordered reinstatements each year to calculate the probability a worker involved in union-organizing would be fired.

Using those calculations, as well as previous studies using the same series of NLRB data, the authors wrote that the probability of a pro-union worker being fired during an organizing campaign increased from .5 percent in 1970 to 1974 to 1 percent from 1996 to 2000, then rose to 1.4 percent in 2001 to 2005.

The peak probability of union activist firings came in the 1980s, when the probability that a worker involved in an organizing drive would be fired was as great as 2.7 percent.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, I think you should shoot this article over to Mr. Armstrong so he can report on it in pursuit of that balance he and McCaw so espouse. NOT!!!

1/05/2007 5:43 PM  

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