Intimidation of Workers is Real (Update)

I recently became chair of the Young Democrats of NC Labor Caucus. In that position, I went to the recent event held by Richard Burr and Americans for Prosperity where they attacked unions and declared that the “secret ballot” was under attack. I went to their event, and called them on their lies, and was rewarded with a few interviews. Now the Republicans are after me, and attacking the press for “not investigating” my statements.

Because Brent Woodcox does not allow comments on his blog, I am forced to respond here. I hope that he comes by for an actual debate.

First of all, let us start by looking at the interview in question.

Video

Brent Woodcox starts off his “analysis” by arguing that the opinion of Dallas Woodhouse should be treated by the media in a different way from my statement of fact. He is right, the statement Dallas made is his opinion, and can’t be verified through research.

I won’t go into all of the lies that the Republicans told that could be easily disproved. Haywood has done a pretty good job here. I also highly recommend the work of the group American Rights at Work. They have compiled a large amount of information on unions, and have addressed in detail the claims of the opponents of the Employee Free Choice Act.

"Workers have faced a significant level of intimidation in the workplace, and [bill opponents] want to preserve that system," -Me (Will Cubbison, YDNC Labor Caucus Chair)

They then go on to say that my statement of fact should have been addressed by the media. The insinuation is that I am lying, or have no facts. The NCGOP followed this up, by asking me through twitter if I could prove my case. Well, in a word, Yes.

Worker intimidation by employers is real, both nationally and in North Carolina. There are not a lot of large scale investigations of intimidation in North Carolina, because most cases have little public record because of the confidentiality of most legal cases.

However, there are more than enough examples for me to back up my statement.

I will start with the case of Smithfield, and its Tar Heel Plant. Conditions at this plant were so bad that Humans Rights Watch singled out the plant in its study of work conditions at meat plants in the US.

All witnesses faced challenging cross-examination by lawyers from the other side. In a 442-page single-spaced decision issued in 2000, the judge made detailed findings of massive abuse against workers trying to exercise their freedom of association. Based on the evidence, the judge found that Smithfield illegally:
• threatened to discharge union supporters and to close the plant if workers chose union representation;
• threatened to call the INS to report immigrant workers if workers chose union representation;
• threatened the use of violence against workers engaged in organizing activities;
• threatened to blacklist workers who supported the union;
• harassed, intimidated, and coerced workers who supported the union;
• disciplined, suspended, and fired many workers because of their support for the union;
• spied on workers engaged in lawful union activities;
• asked workers to spy on other workers' union activity;
• grilled workers about other workers' union activities;
• suppressed workers' right to freely discuss the union in non-work areas on non-work time and to demonstrate support for the union at work by wearing unobtrusive union insignia;
• confiscated lawful union literature being lawfully distributed by workers;
• applied a gag rule against union supporters while giving union opponents free rein;
• applied work rules strictly against union supporters but not against union opponents.

All of that was what a judge found from the 1997 NLRB election. Closer to today, in 2006 Smithfield was fined over a million dollars by the government for illegally firing workers who were involved in union activities. Up until 2005 Smithfield had its own police force, and in 2004 a complaint was filed, where an impartial judge said that the company’s private security force:

• physically assaulted employees exercising their rights;
• threatened employees with arrest by federal immigration authorities;
• falsely arrested employees exercising their rights

So obviously union intimidation is going on in North Carolina, but I am sure that the NCGOP will claim that Smithfield is just one bad actor, and we should not punish all businesses because of them.

However, this bill isn’t just about North Carolina. It is about workers across the country who face intimidation at their workplace. According to surveys of workers in union organizing efforts 46% report some form of intimidation by their employer in an NLRB election. By point of contrast, just 4.6% of workers say that the presence of a union organizer would make them feel pressured to sign a union card.

Lets look at a case study of a nursing home in Missouri.

Here is a brief timeline of events:
July 16, 2007 Employees begin meeting to discuss forming a union to improve compensation and address the safety concerns from working with serious psychiatric patients.
August 2-3 Supervisors interrogate employees to determine who is behind the union effort.
August 2 Company fires two union supporters.
August 3 With a majority of employees signing union authorization cards, the Service Employees International Union petitions the NLRB to hold an election, which the agency scheduled for September.
August 6 Company fires third union supporter.
August 7 Company fires fourth union supporter.
August 7 Company calls the police to stop a union representative who was legally handing out information to employees on a public road.
August 10 A supervisor swerves his car within feet of an employee legally handing out union information and threatens to call the police if they don’t stop.

If this still isn’t enough for the NCGOP I will provide them with stacks of data on union intimidation, from NLRB statistics to anecdotal stories of actual employers. In the meantime, can they at least agree that intimidation by employers occurs and start debating the merits of the Employee Free Choice Act instead of lying about it?

Update - From christoper
There is also the case of the 2002 UAW vote in Gastonia. Charlotte Observer

"I feel like all in all they were trying to sway some of those who were on the fence, maybe as a scare tactic," she said. "I think it worked because we had a lot on the second shift that we knew were on the fence, and I think that put a little fear in them."

Comments

Sorry

This is a long diary, with a lot less information than I would have liked to provide. But I felt that the NCGOP's lies should be addressed sooner rather than later (even if it is in the middle of UNC v State (Go Pack!)

At DailyKos http://www.dailykos.com/story/2009/2/18/201618/675

"Keep the Faith"

A great resource

http://itsyourfreechoice.org/

This website by the Center for American Progress attempts to show what effect being a part of a union has on pay for workers in terms of real dollars.

It shows that if North Carolina had the same rate of unionization as it had in 1983 there would be almost 200,000 more union members with workers making an extra 503 million dollars in 2008.

"Keep the Faith"

Don't Apologize

Thanks for posting. It's a right-wing blog habit to block comments. I've tried to engage on some sites but not after getting blocked.

Thanks for responding, Will

I hope it’s ok if I call you, Will. I think that once we get in a Twitter fist fight, it’s cool if we call each other by our first names. You can feel free to call me, Brent.

First, I hope you were not offended by my question or by my blog post. It was not intended to be an attack on you and I did not intend to call you a liar. I actually wanted to engage in a debate on the facts and not leave the matter to dueling ten second sound bytes. My attack was more on a media industry that encourages people to engage in debate by screaming louder and talking past one another instead of truly investigating the truth or falsity of political claims. For instance, I could go on the news and say “Unionization is the leading cause of death in North Carolina.” Of course, that wouldn’t be true. But if the media will do nothing to prove my claim is false, instead choosing to offer me the platform by which to make it regardless of content, then what stops me from spouting blatant falsehoods other than my benevolent will and good conscience? You see, I am not nearly the spawn of unadulterated evil that some folks would like to ascribe to me. Indeed, I like to think of myself as a reasonable person.

Thank you for posting this response, laying out your evidence, and engaging in a real debate. I believe we can disagree on important issues of public policy without having it degenerate into a series of personal attacks.

I will have to offer a few critiques of the argument you have laid out here.

The lynchpin of your claim rests on the case of a company whose workers were attempting to unionize, who broke labor laws already in place, and was then caught and punished. It seems like the current system did a good job of correcting the problem. Likely it could have been done with greater urgency and with harsher penalties, but that’s a separate argument. This cannot be your strongest evidence, Will.

Then you go onto make an argument about Missouri. Unless you have some proof that what happens in Missouri happens in North Carolina, this is a classic non-sequitur. I don’t care about Missouri other than the fact they have some pretty decent ribs there and the St. Louis arch is kind of cool. It has nothing to do with this debate.

Anecdotal evidence is only slightly stronger than slippery slope arguments in my view which is to say that it is the last refuge of a desperate and beaten man.

I don’t think I need to read the NLRB statistics to predict what they might say, but really this is the best evidence there is out there to offer? Is there no unbiased observer to ever study the issue and offer an opinion that might actually be convincing?

You may argue that the reason there isn’t more evidence is because we only get the evidence when people are caught doing something wrong. Currently, workers aren’t being protected adequately in the workplace, are being mistreated, and no investigations are being done. Of course, if you did, you would be committing the logical fallacy termed an appeal to ignorance. (There is no evidence against x. Therefore, x.) So then again, you might not choose to make that argument.

My question is simple. How does taking away the secret ballot from workers protect their interests? (And let’s please not get caught up on the rhetoric here. You might not term it “taking away” the secret ballot. The fact is that while it might not entirely do away with the secret ballot, it would eliminate it as a necessary step in the process. In other words, it is likely that in a significant number of cases where workers are currently offered a secret ballot, they would not be afforded that opportunity under the proposed legislation.) I believe the secret ballot is the best tool available to protect all parties involved. It is a qualitative rather than a quantitative claim. Is the secret ballot perfect? Probably not. But as Winston Churchill famously said, “Democracy is the worst form of government except for all those others that have been tried.”

You can read the full NCGOP statement here, if you care to.

Here’s the thing. If anyone tells you that unions haven’t done anything to protect workers throughout our nation’s history, to win fair wages, and extend needed benefits to employees, that person is either lying or is a fool. But unions exist to protect their limited segment of workers. They don’t protect all workers everywhere. The goal of unions is not to create more jobs in North Carolina. By their very nature, unions exist in order to raise the cost of doing business for employers in North Carolina. That’s their job. I understand that. I am concerned with the health of businesses in North Carolina and I am concerned about more people getting back to work in a difficult economy. I am also concerned about the rights of workers. I just don’t see how card checks will enhance their ability to enforce their rights.

While I understand your position as a labor leader in this debate, I do not believe it is a wise course for public policy in North Carolina, particularly in this economy. That is why I oppose the bill.

Brent

Don't assume that you can call him by his first name on BlueNC when he goes by a pseudonym. If he weren't known to most of us you would have just violated BlueNC's #1 rule and you would find yourself IP banned. While we allow Republicans to post here we do require that they follow the rules along with the rest of us. You will find our Frequently Asked Questions under the "Home" tab in the menu under our logo up top.

Betsy



***************************
Vote Democratic, the ass you save may be your own.

It's ludicrous to say that unions exist

"in order to raise the cost of doing business for employers in North Carolina". They might have that effect, but I just don't understand your logic in saying "That's their job."

Our economy has been degraded severely when it comes to American workers already. We've had our jobs shipped out, our health coverage eroded or lost, our employer/employee relationships compromised, our benefits cut, our retirement plans stolen... these are the times when fighting for worker rights are the most important. It's time for the state to lead by example and support union organizing.

Progressives are the true conservatives.

Brent

Thanks for the response; I will do my best to respond to you as best I can.

The lynchpin of your claim rests on the case of a company whose workers were attempting to unionize, who broke labor laws already in place, and was then caught and punished. It seems like the current system did a good job of correcting the problem

In 2007 (most recent year I have the numbers) the average worker who was fired for union activity received back pay of just over $2600 and the average length of time it took for the NLRB to come to a decision was over 650 days after the employee filing a claim. In the cases I cited, the situation with the 1997 election was decided 3 years afterwards, and was appealed by the company almost immediately. While workers waited on the NLRB they still had no representation. The system is not doing a good job of anything.

Further, you asked for a specific example of union intimidation going on in our state. I gave you one, and yet I don't see you offering a correction on your claim that there is no intimidation going on in our state.

As for the example I gave of Missouri, it was offered as a simple explanation of what this sort of situation looks like. I am sorry that you do not care about what happens in Missouri, but this is federal legislation, aimed at the method in which workers join a union across our country. And I do care about the rights of my fellow Americans, even if you do not.

I don't think I need to read the NLRB statistics to predict what they might say, but really this is the best evidence there is out there to offer? Is there no unbiased observer to ever study the issue and offer an opinion that might actually be convincing?

First you start this off by attacking the government (I'm shocked), and act as though the NLRB is some great fan of labor, even though it is full of Bush appointees. As an example of the NLRB's problems in 2008 a couple of union organizers were severely beaten by the company's security forces. There were a large number of witnesses who saw the event, but because the owner of the company contradicted the reports of numerous other witnesses there was no action taken by the NLRB, and the case was dismissed. I can give hundreds of other examples of the NLRB in the past decade making anti-worker decisions.

You have asked for "unbiased" reports. I have offered one academic study, and would offer more, except I'm pretty tired of seeing Republicans rant and rave about "liberal professors". So what exactly would you accept as being unbiased?

I will list a number of academic and peer reviewed studies used to compile reports on the subject by American Rights at Work. In the meantime, can you provide me with any studies backing up your claims that weren't paid for by groups that are paid to bust up unions? Feel free to peruse on your own time

Human Rights Watch, “Unfair Advantage: Workers’ Freedom of Association in the United States Under International Human Rights Standards," 2000.
Kate Bronfenbrenner, “Uneasy Terrain: The Impact of Capital Mobility on Workers, Wages and Union Organizing,” U.S. Trade Deficit Review Commission, 2000.
Brent Garren, “When the Solution Is the Problem: NLRB Remedies and Organizing Drives,” 51 Labor Law Journal 76, 78; 2000.
John Logan, "Consultants, Lawyers, and the 'Union Free' Movement in the USA Since the 1970s," Industrial Relations Journal, vol. 33, no. 3, 2002.
Paul C. Weiler, "Promises to Keep: Securing Workers' Rights to Self Organization Under the NLRA," 96 Harvard Law Review 1769, 1777; 1983 (citing Roomkin & Juris, "Unions in the Traditional Sectors: the Mid-Life Passage of the Labor Movement," 31 IRRA Proceedings 212, 217-18; 1978).
Eaton, Adrienne E. and Jill Kriesky. 2006. “Dancing With the Smoke Monster: Employer Motivations for Negotiating Neutrality and Card Check Agreements,” in Justice on the Job: Perspectives on the Erosion of Collective Bargaining in the United States, ed. by R. Block, S. Friedman, M. Kaminski, and A. Levin. (Upjohn: Kalamazoo, MI).
http://www.powells.com/cgi-bin/biblio?inkey=62-0801485630-3

My question is simple. How does taking away the secret ballot from workers protect their interests?

Who wants to take away the secret ballot? Are you talking about employers who delay votes, fire workers and appeal the results of elections endlessly? Because the Employee Free Choice Act preserves the option of the secret ballot. Except instead of giving that option to the employer, it gives it to the employees, by instituting a system where the NLRB creates cards that can be signed and sent in in secret which allow workers to ask for an election without joining the union.

What you call the "secret ballot" has never been a necessary step in the process. Contrary to the claims made by you and Americans for Prosperity, current law does not require a ballot election. In fact, almost 25% of unions have been certified by the NLRB without an election of any kind.

I am also concerned about the rights of workers

I wish that was true. If it was you would have questioned the appointment of anti-worker representatives to the NLRB by President Bush. If it was true you would support the provisions of the Employee Free Choice Act that would increase fines and penalties for employers who break the law. If it was true you would not be silent while the appointment of Hilda Solis as Labor Secretary is held up by Senate Republicans.

PS- I dont mind you calling me Will, I have stepped outside the pseudonym territory more than enough times on my own.

"Keep the Faith"

Forgot to Address

I forgot to address the claim that unions are bad for business.

As a Republican I know that you would agree with me that a strong middle class is good for capitalism. We might disagree about what that means, but I know we agree. I also know that unions built the middle class in this country, setting up a system where millions of workers could rise above poverty wages and gain vital protections such as OSHA, the FDA, etc.

Now then, Republicans have claimed that the US Auto Industry is failing because of unions. So what is your explanation for the amount of jobs that Bank of America has lost recently? What is your explanation for the financial trouble that non-unionized Toyota has found itself in? What is your explanation for the 80,000 manufacturing jobs that North Carolina has lost since 2005, almost none of which were union jobs?

I won't claim direct causation, but the correlation between George Bush's economy and the lowest levels of unions in this country ever is pretty strong.

"Keep the Faith"

Responding again

Betsy, I apologize for my poor etiquette. I had assumed that since Will had used his name in the post that it was OK for me to use it as well. I did not mean to run afoul of the rules of the forum you so generously afford folks here.

loftT, I realize that wading into a blog for liberals/progressives and making a pro-business argument is like walking into the middle of a Star Wars convention and screaming out "Chewbacca sucks!" I expect to be shouted down. Still, don't argue with the logic of my argument while admitting it is valid. What would you say of a union that never forced their employer to raise wages, extend benefits, upgrade healthcare, or improve retirement plans? Because I would say that union was not doing its job. Those things cost employers money. That doesn't mean they aren't the rightful priorities of the union's agenda. It just means that everything extended to employees has a cost to employers.

Will, I think that I misunderstood your original argument. When you said, "Workers have faced a significant level of intimidation in the workplace," the unspoken subtext read "in America." I thought you meant "in North Carolina." Now, I think I have asked you to produce evidence for an argument you weren't making. That was not fair.

Let me be clear. I am not making the argument, "Unions are bad." I know that you likely believe that by empowering unions, you empower workers. I do not hold the same belief. I am instead arguing that empowering unions produces a direct effect on the cost of doing business in North Carolina. Every public policy decision must be made on the basis of a simple calculus: Are the gains worth the costs? Here, I do not believe they are.

I do not think that workers should be fired for engaging in union activity. I never made the claim that there was no intimidation going on in North Carolina. I contradicted your claim that the level of intimidation was "significant." It may very well be that we are actually arguing over what constitutes a "significant" level of intimidation. I agree that if workers are being intimidated and fired by bad actor employers then those employers should be investigated and punished. In my mind and for North Carolina, this sweeping piece of legislation is a disproportionate response to one bad actor. Again, I think that increasing fines and penalties for employers who break the law should be a separate matter. I suspect that if it was pushed separately it would garner the votes of far more Republicans.

When I said I don't care about what happens in Missouri. I didn't mean I don't care about workers in Missouri. I meant that I have no significant mouthpiece, platform, or ability to effect changes in the public policy of Missouri, Michigan, Montana, or Maine. (Clearly, I have no control of what happens in Maine.) I understand the federal nature of the legislation. I am only interested in how it affects North Carolinians because is my job to advocate on behalf of Republicans in North Carolina. I do have the ability to affect public policy here.

I am the kind of Republican who has a general and healthy distrust of government. That's what drives me to be a conservative. (By the way, so did the writers of the Federalist Papers, so it doesn't exactly put me out of the mainstream of the history of American politics.) I am not the kind of Republican who scoffs at academic studies. (Well, unless they are done by the ACLU and come to the conclusion that a program designed to deport illegal immigrants is deporting illegal immigrants.) I have had the blessing of being educated at fine academic institutions and appreciate very much their beneficial effect on the marketplace of ideas. I am the kind of Republican who hates it when some people look down their noses at other people simply because they have more letters behind their names.

Again, I'm not really making claims that can be proved true or false. They are more arguments about the proper framework of democratic institutions. It is very likely that you have a much more sophisticated understanding of the intricate details of labor law than I benefit from myself. I don't want to get into a rhetorical duel about whether this bill would "take away" the secret ballot. I think we can both stipulate that it is likely that under the new legislation there will be fewer secret ballot elections than there are under the current system. In my view, this is undesirable. In my personal opinion, I would like to see a secret ballot election in every case in which it is feasible. That's probably not a perfect system. It is probably able to be manipulated by evil employers who want to intimidate employees to discourage them from forming a union. I think you would admit that the new system would allow some bad actor union bosses to strong arm employees into forming a union even if they did not truly wish to do so. I think the secret ballot is the best system we have at our disposal. I would expand its use, not retract it.

I'm sorry that you don't believe that I care about workers. I think this goes back to our general disagreement that the best way to empower workers is to empower unions. I don't think we're going to find much common ground there.

I also don't believe that unionization can stop globalization and never made the claim that all non-union employers will succeed while all union employers will inevitably fail. I also no more believe in the existence of a "George Bush economy" than you did when we were creating jobs at a record pace or in the existence of a "Bill Clinton recession."

Response

First of all thank you for responding. I don't imagine either of us will change the others mind, but I enjoy giving everyone else a chance to read both sides.

I do however want to address this claim:

Let me be clear. I am not making the argument, "Unions are bad." I know that you likely believe that by empowering unions, you empower workers. I do not hold the same belief. I am instead arguing that empowering unions produces a direct effect on the cost of doing business in North Carolina. Every public policy decision must be made on the basis of a simple calculus: Are the gains worth the costs? Here, I do not believe they are.

I believe that unions are ultimately good for the economy, because by raising the wages of workers, and forming a force that is more likely to keep manufacturing jobs within the country they are strengthening our economy. In other words, unions preserve our and help expand our economy. You disagree with that statement. As proof of my position I offer the following report released today.

The summary is that unions lead to better wages, and help lower the gap between productivity gains and wage gains. As someone who believes that drastic differences between productivity gains and wage gains will lead to systematic collapses, unions help to make sure our capitalistic system is good for both workers and owners.

What proof or ideas do you offer to say that unions are bad for business?

"Keep the Faith"

Seriously, Will

I'm not making the argument that unions are bad. I'm not saying that they are bad for business, bad for the environment, or bad for my chi. Not being an economist, I have to break this down into very simple elements for myself. I'm saying that unions exist in order to get concessions from employers. If employers extend more benefits to employees, that affects their profit margins. So the business now has to either find a way to make more money, employ less people, or start a side business robbing banks. By empowering union leaders, you are empowering workers who choose to unionize but you are doing nothing for those who don't make that choice. It is not a union leader's job to worry about job creation in North Carolina. It's the union leader's job to get more kwan for the workers. It's not the job of union leaders to worry about productivity gains. It's their job to worry about wage gains. It's also their job to worry about their workers and not others. So if the widget makers have a strong and successful union then the widget makers are getting paid. That doesn't do much for widget suppliers or widget transporters though.

Like I said, it's obviously all a lot more complex than that. Regardless, I'm not really making an argument about the efficacy or utility of unions. I'm making an argument about the proper procedure for their formation.

We're definitely not going to agree on the issue. Our difference isn't on the facts. It's in philosophy. Such differences aren't easily amenable to compromise. That's why we have a democracy. I thank you for the conversation. It is good to have a forum where we can actually discuss the issue rather than just spout sound bytes with increasing decibel levels and decreasing intellectual value.

Except

It has been the job of unions to fight for more business. Look at the most recent stimulus package. A large number of the buy american provisions (specifically the ones relating to steel) were put into the package because of an internal push by Labor. Why? Because when American companies go out of business union members lose their job.

Further, it has been shown time and again that the wages and benefits of non-union workers rise when the amount of unions increase. So while union members might make more, it does help other workers to have a union in the business next door to theirs.

Even more importantly, and I really want to emphasize this point, the job of union leaders is much larger than wage gains. Discrimination and unfair treatment of workers is cut in union workplaces. Employees gain a number of non-monetary "increases" in a union environment that have no effect upon a company's bottom line, except to improve worker happiness (and likely productivity). In fact, outside of the contract fights that occur every few years, the day to day time and effort of union leaders (especially members) is focused upon the general welfare of workers completely seperate from any monetary benefits.

"Keep the Faith"

Oh the irony

I love it that all these Republican and employer groups are ORGANIZING to fight the EFCA, in the hopes of increasing leverage when they COLLECTIVELY BARGAIN with their legislators. What a great idea when dealing with a situation where an individual might not have enough power to get what he or she wants.

However

I have little doubt that you can produce me studies to show that unions have been known to have a direct effect on the increased sightings of rainbows. Or that we have unions to thank for that fact that fuzzy teddy bears are now cuddlier than ever before. A lack of studies supporting the claims on both sides is not a deficit this debate is currently facing.

Discrimination and unfair treatment can be dealt with in the law, and in fact they are. I'm not disagreeing that those things need to be punished, but they can punished properly without unions. The fact that non-union wages have risen at the same time that union wages have risen does not in any way prove a causal link between the two. This is another one of those pesky logical fallacies. It's called cum hoc ergo propter hoc. (A occurs in correlation with B. Therefore, A causes B.) Indeed, it may actually add evidence to the claim that you don't need unions to see increases in wages.

Again, unions can do many things but I don't believe that they can slam the brakes on the changing nature of global economic competition. We have lost manufacturing jobs in North Carolina. I believe that we can replace them with better jobs and retrain workers to do better jobs for better wages so that those folks can have jobs that they can count on to stay here. Some would call me unrealistic. I like to think of myself as idealistic. Some people find that charming.

Idealistic, but not very good at Google

Labor unions and rainbows.

____________________________________

“Don't tell me what you value, show me your budget, and I'll tell you what you value.”
― Joe Biden

Are discrimination and unfair treatment dealt with?

What if someone in government doesn't do their job?

an Observer investigation has found the state Labor Department has sloughed off a law giving victims the right to recover their jobs and losses when wrongly fired. Under the leadership of Ms. Berry, the department has focused on settlements, not going after companies that break the law.

The report found, among other things:

  • Only a fraction of people who file claims get help.
  • Many state investigations consist only of an online questionnaire. Many dismissed workers aren't even interviewed.
  • The division that enforces the law, called the Retaliatory Employment Discrimination Act, has had its funding cut under Ms. Berry.

REDA ought to be vigorously enforced, not pushed to the side. This is even more evidence Ms. Berry's not suited to hold an office that's bound by general statute to be a watchdog for workers.

Shouldn't private citizens have the freedom to protect themselves when government isn't up to the job?

I always wanted to be the avenging cowboy hero—that lone voice in the wilderness, fighting corruption and evil wherever I found it, and standing for freedom, truth and justice. - Bill Hicks

Getting Bored

I have offered a large amount of studies, and asked you to provide the same. Instead you attack peer reviewed academic studies as being biased (I know you aren't anti-intellectual so don't make it look like you are).

I have given proof of the claims, and I was hoping you would do the same. I look forward to your response.

"Keep the Faith"

The True Essence of Excitement

Because nothing injects excitement into life like peer-reviewed academic studies.

I'm not interested in compiling a bibliography of anti-union articles and studies. If you want to see one, go here. I don't see what doing so would prove other than my adept use of LexisNexis. Although our debate on the nature of unions has been interesting, I think our debate on the true essence of excitement may be epic.

Good Lord, Brent

I fully support the right of a group of workers to organize and set their wages and shop around for a customer to hire them. I support the rights of employees to organize in a factory if they are upset at worker conditions, to address legitimate management grievances, or for whatever reason they please. In fact, most managers would probably welcome such moves. However, I also support the right of companies NOT to hire the collectively organized group. I support the right of a company to fire anyone they suspect organizing a union. I support the right of a company to pay their workers what they choose and to fire all and/or only union employees if they choose.

Welcome to the 19th Century. Hopefully you just posted that link because you found it, not because you're a frequent reader. This guy's a nutbag. I suppose he also supports allowing companies to engage in usury. As a matter of fact, forget money; why don't you just pay workers with food and clothing? As long as there's enough poor people who would go for it, that's a legitimate "transaction" or "contract" between management and workers.

Come on, Brent. You can do better than this.

Fair point

I didn't take the time to vet the guy behind the site. I was only attempting to "prove," for whatever that's worth, that there are anti-union studies and articles in existence. I am sure the people who wrote and compiled them have their own axes to grind. I have made my personal opinion on unions clear in my posts above. I am not endorsing everything that is behind that link.

I'm glad to know

you aren't prone to believe all the free-market fantasy stuff out there.

Oh, by the way, here's the unions making teddy bears cuddlier thing you mentioned above. ;)