Um, It's That Free Speech Thingie

Via Kevin Drum, Art Levine goes covert and digs up the evil doings at a seminar for corporate executives on avoiding unionization.  Why corporate executives  would possibly want to avoid something so sensible as unions is beyond me.  But Mr. Levine uncovers some really nefarious doings:

What if we felt like saying a lot of anti-union stuff to our workers?
Lotito introduced a segment called "You Can Say It." Could we tell our
workers, for instance, that a union had held strike at a nearby
facility only to find that all the strikers had been replaced "” and
that the same could happen to the employees here? Sure, said Lotito.
"It's lawful." He added, "What happens if this statement is a lie? They
didn't have another strike, there were no replacements? It's still
lawful: The labor board doesn't really care if people are lying."

Whoa!  You mean that, in this country, we can, you know, say stuff and its not the government's job to check the veracity?  How have we gotten to such a low point?

Update: I have been to several of these course in my Fortune 50 manager days, and the vast majority of the advice is "treat workers well and communicate a lot." I remember specifically being told not to lie because such tactics tend to backfire.   

As far as my feelings on unions themselves, I would have zero problem with workers organizing of their own free will if it were not for the fact that the government grants unions special rights and privileges that other private organizations do not have.


  1. Walter E. Wallis, P.E.:

    It would be nice if the unions were not allowed the union or agency shop.

  2. Zach:

    Wow. So a bunch of GM UAW snots feel they are being slighted, and forcibly unemploy people who don't have any more to do with their "dire straits" than the man on the moon. And we like unions...why, again?

    Also, I hear rumblings that it may spread to Ford plants. In the real world, if your competition shows weakness, damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead. But when your workforce has more loyalty to an outside organization (which itself is partially loyal to your competition) I guess it doesn't work that way.

  3. Allen:

    Does anyone pay attention to how many times union leadership lies to their own members? I have friends and family in unions and over the years have watched them pay less and less attention to the claims their leaders make because of too many previous false claims.

  4. Alina:

    I would have less issues with unions as well if the one I belong to, the Writers Guild of America, hadn't forced me to join before I could take a job that I had already been hired for based on my own merits, and then took commissions on earnings of mine that they had nothing to do with.

  5. Kyle Bennett:

    I went over to Drum's site and started a long conversation with some of the socialists there. Very civil, and actual dialog, not just trolling or name calling, and that goes for their side as well. Still, they started deleting my comments. Ironically, the site advertises that "in the war of ideas, we have the weapons". They don't mention that their main weapon is the delete button.