Battlepanda: Open Source Unions?


Always trying to figure things out with the minimum of bullshit and the maximum of belligerence.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Open Source Unions?

Brad Plumer has a rather scary post on the prevalence of union busting activities. He offers up the idea of open-source unions as a possible new strategy to revitalize labor organization. The idea is, we should allow workers to join unions even if their workplace is not yet unionized. The pre-union union members would pay a reduced due and get all the non-collective barganing benefits of belonging in an union (advice, representation, training etc.) while the union continues to work on getting a majority in that workplace. Sounds good right? Foot in the door, and all that.

But reflect on the scary facts further up his post:
# 30% of employers fire pro-union workers.
# 49% of employers threaten to close a worksite when workers try to form a union.
# 51% of employers coerce workers into opposing unions with bribery or favoritism.
# 82% of employers hire unionbusting consultants to fight organizing drives.
# 91% of employers force employees to attend one-on-one anti-union meetings with supervisors.

Somehow, I don't see a stampede of workers wanting to put up with all that without the higher wages a union brings.