THREAD: Why voluntary recognition is better for workplace democracy than the union election process. (1/13)
In the United States, private sector workers who want to unionize have two options: they can obtain voluntary recognition of their union from their employer, or they can vote in a union election run by the National Labor Relations Board. (2/13)…
Under American labor law, no matter how many workers want a union, the boss can refuse to recognize the union and force employees to have a Board election. (3/13)
Board elections delay union representation and give employers an opportunity to pressure employees to change their minds. In over 40% of union elections, employers are charged with committing unfair labor practices. (4/13)…
To give an example, at Amazon’s Bessemer facility, the employer forced a Board election, even though a majority of employees signed cards authorizing the union to represent them. (5/13)…
Just like politicians who seek to undermine our democracy, the company gerrymandered the group of employees eligible for representation & created at least the appearance of ballot tampering by having a mailbox for ballots installed on-site. (6/13)…
It also ran a vicious disinformation and voter intimidation campaign that included captive audience meetings, threats of loss of benefits, daily anti-union text messages, and anti-union messages in bathrooms. (7/13)…
The union lost the election by a more than 2-to-1 margin. (8/13)…
In short, the union election process is not about workplace democracy. In fact, it’s often antithetical to workers’ self-determination. (9/13)
It doesn’t have to be this way. In the early days of the NLRA, when there was a massive upswing in unionization, the Board routinely certified unions without conducting elections, before the law was changed to require them. (10/13)…
In several states, public sector workers can secure representation by signing cards authorizing a union to represent them. (11/13)…
And the American union election process is an oddity compared to other countries’ labor laws. (12/13)…
But unless or until American labor law is changed to truly empower workers to exercise their right to bargain collectively, employers should do the right thing and voluntarily recognize their employees’ choice of union representative. (13/13)

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