Argument: Employee Free Choice Act favors one-sided union pitches
James Sherk and Paul Kersey. "How the Employee Free Choice Act Takes Away Workers' Rights". Heritage Foundation. 23 Apr. 2007 - Sales Pitch. Even when union organizers do not threaten workers, card checks often do not reveal workers' free and considered choice about joining a union because workers do not hear both sides' pitches and lack time for reflection. Instead, card checks force workers to choose in a high-pressure sales situation.
In a card-check campaign, groups of organizers meet with individual workers at their homes or elsewhere and press them to sign a union authorization card. Organizers do not simply present the arguments for and against joining the union and then ask for a worker's support. Instead, they employ psychological manipulation to induce workers to sign after hearing their pitch. One former union organizer described the process in congressional testimony:
- [Organizers] are trained to perform a five-part house call strategy that includes: Introductions, Listening, Agitation, Union Solution, and Commitment. The goal of the organizer is to quickly establish a trust relationship with the worker, move from talking about what their job entails to what they would like to change about their job, agitate them by insisting that management won't fix their workplace problems without a union and finally convincing the worker to sign a card....
- Typically, if a worker signed a card, it had nothing to do with whether a worker was satisfied with the job or felt they were treated fairly by his or her boss.... [I]f someone told me that she was perfectly contented at work, enjoyed her job and liked her boss, I would look around her house and ask questions based on what I noticed: "wow, I bet on your salary, you'll never be able to get your house remodeled," or, "so does the company pay for day care?" These were questions to which I knew the answer and could use to make her feel that she was cheated by her boss. Five minutes earlier she had just told me that she was feeling good about her work situation.
Signing a card after this kind of manipulation does not reflect an employee's unfettered and considered choice.
Only One Side of the Story. Organizers have a job to do: recruit new dues-paying members to their union. They are not paid to inform workers of the downsides of unionizing. Instead, they make the strongest case they can for joining a union and ask workers to sign their card right then. A former union organizer explained the process:
- We rarely showed workers what an actual union contract looked like because we knew that it wouldn't necessarily reflect what a worker would want to see. We were trained to avoid topics such as dues increases, strike histories, etc. and to constantly move the worker back to what the organizer identified as his or her "issues" during the first part of the house call.
Union organizers understandably boast about the benefits unions bring members, but they do not bring up the six-figure salaries that union bosses pay themselves from members' dues, the fact that hundreds of union officials have been convicted of racketeering in the past five years, or the role that unions' inflexibility has played in driving some companies into bankruptcy. Instead, union organizers make their pitch and ask workers to sign their cards immediately. By making card-check organizing the norm, the Employee Free Choice Act would prevent workers from making informed decisions.
"The Employee Free Choice Act: The Unanswered Questions". The Metropolitan Corporate Counsel - "In a nutshell, the E.F.C.A. will...do away with the pre-election campaign period, and curtail employer "free speech" rights, preventing employees from obtaining balanced information and viewpoints about union representation before the employees are forced to choose;"
Heritage Foundation - "Congress should also guarantee every worker the opportunity to hear arguments from both sides and time to reflect before voting." The Heritage Foundation quoted one former union organizer saying, "We rarely showed workers what an actual union contract looked like because we knew that it wouldn't necessarily reflect what a worker would want to see. We were trained to avoid topics such as dues increases, strike histories, etc. and to constantly move the worker back to what the organizer identified as his or her "issues" during the first part of the house call."