Our Executive Director Richard Berman recently wrote opinion pieces for the Providence Journal and Deseret News profiling misleading union front groups known as “worker centers.” As we’ve said before, worker centers are not your friendly neighborhood employee organizations, but rather unions in disguise. In the article, Berman notes the “differences” (or lack thereof) between unions and worker centers:
In fact, the only major practical difference between worker centers and actual labor unions is that worker centers don’t “deal with” the employer through negotiations. Instead, they use professional union organizers to single out a select group of employees with grievances — sometimes no more than a few dozen — and then engage in nuisance “strikes” and make demands of the employer that would apply to the entire workforce.
Worker centers are designed to circumnavigate federal labor regulations in furtherance of union goals. The recent “Fight for $15” demonstrations are prime examples of worker centers being used to enter workplaces. Worker centers backed by SEIU-funded “Fast Food Forward” are waging disruptive “wildcat” strikes and occupying fast-food workplaces – unlawful tactics for conventional unions. These strikes allow unions to gain a foothold in workplaces with the consent of only a few and intent to later unionize the employees.
The SEIU has much to gain from supporting an increase in the minimum wage. We found that some SEIU contracts are tied to the minimum wage. According to our recent analysis:
“The ‘Fight for $15’ is actually a fight for higher union dues,” said J. Justin Wilson, Managing Director of the Center for Union Facts. “Some SEIU contracts are specifically written to increase union-negotiated wages when the applicable state or federal minimum wage rises. Higher union wages translates into higher union dues, which have plummeted amid historic union membership declines.”
Worker centers are union-backed organizations designed to evade labor law governing unions. They are little more than disruptive labor groups sent to enter workplaces and do the unions’ dirty work.