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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 7/27/22

How Amazon, Starbucks, and other companies fight unions

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You as a worker have a legal right to join a union, but there are many ways big corporations are skirting the law to stop you from getting your fair share. You could be working for a union-buster and not even know it.

Here are four of the biggest union-busting tricks to look out for:

One: Anti-union propaganda.

Employers turn workers into a captive audience for false or misleading claims about unions.

In 2019 Delta distributed pamphlets to flight attendants and ramp service workers warning that union fees would cost $700 dollars per year. But here's what they didn't mention: unionized workers earn $700 more per month.

Weird how they left that part out, isn't it?

Amazon wallpapered its warehouses with anti-union ads. Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz claimed he had no choice but to exclude workers at unionizing stores from new employee benefits.

Apparently when you're the boss you can just make stuff up.

Two: Your employer hires fancy anti-union firms, lawyers, and consultants.

The company claims it can't afford to raise workers' pay but spends millions on anti-union consultants. You might hear your bosses call this "Union Avoidance," but it basically just means "Union busting, in a suit."

Three: Delay, delay, delay.

It's illegal for employers to cancel a vote on whether to unionize. But they skirt the law to keep that vote from happening as long as possible.

And while they're delaying, they play dirty tricks to stop a union's momentum. Before a recent labor election in Buffalo, Starbucks flooded stores with managers to pressure workers. One Starbucks employee reported he was told to go to a meeting, only to be greeted by six managers pressuring him to reject the union.

So that's how many managers it takes to screw over an employee.

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Robert Reich, former U.S. Secretary of Labor and Professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley, has a new film, "Inequality for All," to be released September 27. He blogs at www.robertreich.org.

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