Here’s a blog post, headline and first paragraph, from the AFL-CIO Now Blog:
Every time workers try to exercise their freedom to form a union, there’s a better than one-in-four chance that a worker will be illegally fired as a result. That’s the finding of a new study by the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR), and it’s a strong argument for passing the Employee Free Choice Act and restoring the freedom to form unions and bargain.
OK, the assertion is that one in four workers will be fired when forming a union. Clear.
And here’s the evidence used to make that claim, the abstract of the report from the Center for Economic and Policy Research: (Our emphasis):
By 2007, pro-union workers involved in union election campaigns faced about a 1.8 percent chance of being illegally fired during the course of the campaign. If we assume that employers target union organizers and activists, and that union organizers and activists make up about 10 percent of pro-union workers, our estimates suggest that almost one-in-five union organizers or activists can expect to be fired as a result of their activities in a union election campaign. Since 2000, illegal firings have marred over one-in-four NLRB-sponsored union elections, reaching 30 percent of elections in 2007.
Thus, the accurate headline would be: One in 56 Chances Workers Will be Fired When Forming a Union
If opponents of the Employee Free Choice Act were to trot out something so ridiculous as the one-in-four claim, we’d be called “LIAR!” If we repeated the absurd, twisted accusation and made it part of the standard talking points, the attacks would increase in vehemence and sophistication: “LIAR! LIAR! LIAR!”
In the spirit of improving the discourse, we’ll just call the activists innumerates and leave it at that.
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