Thursday, November 18, 2021

John Oliver’s exposé on "union busting” missed one key fact — the unions are actually WINNING

This past Sunday night, John Oliver closed his 2021 season with a long-form exposé on labor unions. More specifically, he focused on the efforts employers take to combat union organizing drives: anti-union messaging and videos, captive-audience speeches, threats of job loss and plant closures, and more pointed retaliation against union organizers and other pro-union employees.

His story, however, left out one key fact — the labor unions are actually winning. And they are winning a lot.

From 2016 – 2020, the NLRB has held 6,139 total secret ballot union elections. Of those elections, the unions won 4,428, which equals a win rate of over 72 percent. 

So, John Oliver, if employers are barely winning a quarter of all secret ballot elections, do they really need your help? Do the tables really need to be balanced? Do we need tilted legislation such as the PRO Act? Based on this five-year snapshot of data, the answer is a clear no.

In fact, I believe we are on the cusp of the next great era of union organizing, spurred on by the pandemic. Indeed, data compiled by Richard Berman, the founder of the Center for Union Facts, support my hypothesis. Additionally, and as Berman further points out, "Most current HR professionals have no history in dealing with a partial workforce rebellion." 

So, John Oliver, forgive those of us who arm employers with the knowledge and information necessary to remain union-free and to win these elections at a rate higher than 28 percent. They seem to need my help more than the unions need yours.