Card Check: Misrepresentations Poison the Debate

By April 10, 2009Labor Unions

In addition to shouting “LIAR” everytime someone asserts, quite reasonably, that the Employee Free Choice Act eliminates secret-ballot organizing elections in the workplace, advocates of the “card check” legislation make all sorts of poisonous claims about business nefariousness. Employers abuse employees, therefore card check is needed, or so the argument goes.

For example, in an op-ed Thursday in the San Francisco Chronicle, “Why workers need the Employee Free Choice Act“:

It is illegal to fire a worker for union activity, but pro-union workers were fired in 30 percent of union-representation elections in 2007, according to the Center for Economic and Policy Research.

Our emphasis.

J. Justin Wilson of the Center for Union Facts looked at the available data from the National Labor Relations Board and disproved labor’s claim. From “An Analysis of Current NLRB Data on Unlawful Terminations During Union Organization Campaigns, 2007 to 2008“:

The facts do not support labor leadersʼ claims regarding employer misconduct during union organizing campaigns. The National Labor Relations Boardʼs data incontrovertibly demonstrates that very few employees are terminated during union organization campaigns due to employers firing pro-union employees.

A similar study of NLRB data, often cited by union advocates, largely confirms these findings. MIT graduate student John-Paul Ferguson examined the CATS database to determine the impact of ULP Charges during organizing campaigns. Ferguson found that between 1999 and 2003, unions filed just 914 meritorious ULPs in conjunction with more than 22,000 organizing campaigns, and only a fraction of those of those ULP Charges contained allegations of unlawful termination.

More than 96 percent of union organizing campaigns occur without an unlawfully terminated employee.

Read the whole thing.

There are studies and studies, and advocates of both sides of hotly fought issues will frame facts to suit their arguments. Comes with the territory.

But organized labor’s promoters of the Employee Free Choice Act routinely distort the facts in order to paint businesses as evil exploiters out to screw the worker. It’s tiresome, it poisons the public debate, and it’s not true.

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