Skip to main content

Former AK Gov. Sarah Palin recently went on Facebook to denounce AFL-CIO President Rich Trumka -- who delivered a speech on Thursday criticizing Palin for referring to union members as thugs -- saying:

I called some union leaders "thugs." And I refuse to apologize for that because they have acted like thugs - at least in this day and age.

The idea that unions are the biggest threat to the rights of working people flies so greatly in the the face of the reality experienced by countless workers who have been involved in organizing campaigns, that a lie that big can’t be allowed to stand unchallenged.

A May 2009 study of employer opposition to union organizing done by Cornell University researcher Dr. Kate Bronfenbrenner  finds:

• More than 70 percent of employers hold one-on-one closed door meetings with employees during a unionization drive. 54 percent of employers threaten workers in such meetings, while 57 percent threaten to close the worksite

• 75 percent of employers bring in outside anti-union consultants

• 47 percent of employers threaten to cut wages and benefits

• 34 percent of employers fire workers during a union campaign

Bronfenbrenner reports that employers in the 2000s were two times more likely to use these tactics in anti-union campaigns than they were a decade earlier. Workers filed unfair labor practice charges in 40 percent of all union elections, but guilty employers face no real effective reprisals for violating labor law.

Most violations result in an order by the National Labor Relations Board to post a notice promising not to break the law again. Those found guilty of more serious charges, such as illegal termination, are merely required to pay the fired worker’s back pay.  

It’s time for a reality check. The situation faced by most workers resembles those in this video a lot more than Sarah Palin's and her big business allies' fantasies about "union thugs."

Originally posted to Gang of One on Fri Aug 27, 2010 at 12:20 PM PDT.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site