Union Intimidation Tactics: An Extreme Example
So far, I’ve posted on how the Democrats in the House have attempted to remove the ability of workers to vote via a secret ballot if they want to unionize and how most workers dislike union card checks, which is the “approved alternative” of the House Democrats and their Labor Boss buddies. One area of contention seems to be over just who, exactly, intimidates workers more: unions or companies. As my last post indicated, it seems that most of the company-sponsored intimidation is anecdotal. Additionally, according to the poll I cited, “[o]ver 92 percent of union objections to employer misconduct during organizing elections in 2005 were either withdrawn or, upon investigation by the NLRB, dismissed.”
Now, an Anchor Rising reader has emailed me some documents that provide an example of the types of intimidation tactics in which one particular union engaged during an organizing campaign. According to this source:
[T]he attached is quite “interesting” regarding the lengths to which union organizers will go.
It is an employee bulletin board notice that the National Labor Relations Board ordered posted at the trucking company Overnite Transportation facilities. The Teamsters agreed to this as part of a stipulated agreement (also attached) settling charges against the Teamsters, which at the time were attempting to organize Overnite.
By no means is this Teamster activity representative of union pressure during organizing drives, but “less extreme” union pressure certainly is: from fraud (telling employees that signing the card is only so that the union can mail information to the employee’s house) to nagging (many employees sign the cards simply to get the pro-union employees to stop bothering them) to subtle intimidation (groups showing up at employee’s houses seeking signed cards) to more shall we say “unsubtle” intimidation.
EMPLOYEES AND MEMBERS
POSTED PURSUANT TO A SETTLEMENT STIPULATION
APPROVED BY A REGIONAL DIRECTOR OF THE
NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS BOARD
AN AGENCY OF THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT
WE WILL NOT brandish or carry any weapon of any kind, including, but not limited to, guns, knives, slingshots, rocks, ball bearings, liquid-filled balloons or other projectiles, sledge hammers, bricks, sticks, or two by fours at or near any picket line, handbilling effort, rally or in any vehicle engaged in ambulatory picketing of any Overnite vehicle or following the private
vehicle of any Overnite employee.
WE WILL NOT use or threaten to use a weapon of any kind, including but not limited to guns, knives, slingshots, rocks, ball bearings, liquid-filled balloons or other projectiles, picket signs, sticks, sledge hammers, bricks, hot coffee, bottles, two by fours, lit cigarettes, eggs, or bags or balloons filled with excrement against any non-striking Overnite employee or security guard in the presence any Overnite employee.
WE WILL NOT damage, threaten to damage or attempt to damage any vehicle or equipment owned or operated by Overnite, its employees or security guards, by any means or manner, including but not limited by slingshots, rocks, ball bearings, liquid-filled balloons or other projectiles, knives, picket signs, sticks, sledge hammers, bricks, bottles, two by fours, eggs, or paint, or by tearing off mirrors, windshield wipers or antennas, or breaking windows.
WE WILL NOT disable or attempt to disable vehicles owned or operated by Overnite, by any means or manner, including but not limited to disconnecting or otherwise severing air brake lines, padlocking doors, spraying substances in or otherwise jamming locks, stealing keys, puncturing radiators, cutting hoses or door cables, flattening tires or throwing, placing or otherwise spreading any nails, screws, star nails, jack rocks or similar devices capable of puncturing tires on any road surface.
WE WILL NOT endanger or impede the progress of or harass any non-striking employee or any employee of a neutral person doing business with Overnite, while he or she is operating a company vehicle or his or her own personal vehicle, by forcing or attempting to force him or her off the road, blocking, delaying or limiting his or her access to or passage on any road, swerving toward, driving recklessly near, tailgating or braking abruptly in front of him or her, impeding his or her progress by speeding up and slowing down, driving at speeds below the legal minimums while in front of him or her.
WE WILL NOT endanger or impede the progress of or harass any non-striking employee or any employee of a neutral person doing business with Overnite, while he or she is operating a company vehicle or his or her own personal vehicle, by jumping on vehicles, by attempting to open the doors of vehicles, by throwing paint on windshields, by using mirrors, laser pointers, spot lights or flash photography in the eyes of drivers, or by obstructing the view of drivers by holding picket signs over the windshields of vehicles.
That’s just Page 1. To re-emphasize what the e-mailer wrote: by no means is this typical union behavior. But it is a documented example of how far some union’s will go to organize a workplace. And it’s exhibit “1A” of why secret ballots need to be maintained. And don’t forget, secret ballots also protect the worker from their employer, too. I simply fail to see how removing such a fundamental right as the secret ballot can help workers.