How do billionaire CEOs get richer by exploiting workers while preventing them from organizing? Follow the money.
Billionaires have rigged the system to make it harder for workers to get a living wage, healthcare and safe working conditions. How? Follow the money that mega-billion corporations send to the Business Roundtable, GOP and union-busting law firms to get richer. What rights do workers have to organize? What does the National Labor Relations Board say about this? Resources from the Labor Lab and CWA? Follow along with this relationship map.
Follow the money that billionaires use to exploit workers with help from the GOP and the Business Roundtable
"A wave of unionization has swept white- and blue-collar tech workplaces over the last two years: In addition to the attempt at Mapbox, workers have unionized at Amazon and Activision Blizzard and are in the midst of union organizing at Apple retail stores, to name just a few. The leaders of those companies are among the litany who have made it clear they want unions out. So they have done what every anti-union company in the United States has done since the first organized labor movement more than 100 years ago — hired what companies call “union avoidance experts” and what unions call “union busters.” - Protocol
Apple accused of union busting
"Apple accused of union busting in new labor board filing - The union says the tech giant held captive audience meetings in Atlanta. Apple retail employees in Atlanta are accusing the company of violating the National Labor Relations Act by holding captive audience meetings to counter an ongoing union drive at the site. The Communications Workers of America, which is working to organize the store, filed an unfair labor practice reporting the activity earlier today." - The Verge
- Script for managers - "Managers have utilized this script in recent weeks during store meetings, known internally as “downloads,” that typically start off shifts at Apple retail stores, multiple sources told Motherboard."
- Threat of fewer opportunities - In the talking points, obtained by Motherboard, Apple highlights that workers could lose career growth opportunities, the ability to take time off for personal reasons, and merit-based promotions if they vote to unionize. “The quality of your work may not even be a factor,” the talking points read. It has also instructed managers to tell workers that if they unionize they could face "fewer opportunities," have less "flexibility," and that the company will pay "less attention to merit."
Managers provided anti-union scripts
"Captive audience meetings are a controversial tactic in which workers are required by their bosses to attend meetings with anti-union messaging. Historically, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has allowed captive audience meetings up until the 24-hour period before an election. But an April 7th memo from NLRB general counsel Jennifer Abruzzo argued that such meetings violate the National Labor Relations Act, indicating that the board will take more aggressive action against the tactic going forward." - The Verge
Unions are vital for economic justice
- Unions promote a healthy democracy - Unions are democratically run organizations that have always been and continue to be the most powerful and effective counterbalance to the influence of corporate money and power in our American democracy. Union members are also more likely to take advantage of their right to vote and engage in the legislative process. Unions give working families a voice.
- Unions promote economic justice - Historically, wealth inequality is at its lowest when union membership is at its highest. That’s because unions improve working conditions and wages for all workers, hold corporations accountable, and ensure the rules of the economy work for the people who do the work. Even non-union workers receive financial benefits when union membership is high because employers are forced to compete against good union contracts. Women and people of color also have higher wages and better benefits in unionized workplaces.
- Unions promote social justice - Unions have been essential to narrowing the wage gaps between women and men, fighting workplace discrimination, and promoting community justice. For example, the civil rights movement aligned itself with unions because of the central role collective action plays in the struggle for social justice. In fact, Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated while taking part in the Memphis sanitation-workers strike, just as he was entering into a broader social justice strategy that engaged the working class on every level. Without strong unions, social justice will remain unattainable. - Labor Lab
Right to organize
"Employees have the right to unionize, to join together to advance their interests as employees, and to refrain from such activity. It is unlawful for an employer to interfere with, restrain, or coerce employees in the exercise of their rights. For example, employers may not respond to a union organizing drive by threatening, interrogating, or spying on pro-union employees, or by promising benefits if they forget about the union.
Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act (the Act) guarantees employees "the right to self-organization, to form, join, or assist labor organizations, to bargain collectively through representatives of their own choosing, and to engage in other concerted activities for the purpose of collective bargaining or other mutual aid or protection," as well as the right "to refrain from any or all such activities." - NLRB
TakeAway: Elections matter. Vote for candidates who will fight for economic justice - not the interests of their billionaire donors.
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