Labor Pains: Because Being in a Union can be Painful

Bogus Union Math

Last month, in an incredibly misleading attempt to convince Congress that union’s rarely rely on intimidation and coercion to unionize businesses, AFL-CIO Lawyer Nancy Schiffer told the House of Representatives Subcommittee on Education and Labor:

A recent review of 113 cases cited by the HR Policy Association as “involving” fraud and coercion identified only 42 decisions since the Act’s inception that actually found coercion, fraud or misrepresentation in the signing of union authorization forms. That’s less than one case per year.

Calling that statistic “bogus” doesn’t do justice to how truly misleading Mr. Schiffer was in her testimony. The HR Policy Association memo was not an exhaustive review of allegations against unions, but rather a selection of NLRB Board cases. But only a small percentage of cases ever make it to the Board. Her analysis is the equivalent of saying there have only been a handful of murders in the US if you look at the number that have been convicted by the Supreme Court.

That said, we wanted to get to the bottom of all of this. We analyzed the NLRB’s all-encompasing CATS database–which we obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request–and found that since the late 1990s unions have faced literally thousands of charges of coercion, intimidation, violence, and other allegations.

NLRB Allegation Cases Filed Against Unions
Coercive Statements 1417
Threatening Statements 1325
Harassment 546
Violence/Assaults 416
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