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Dropping the Ax: Illegal Firings During Union Election Campaigns, 1951-2007

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Author Info

  • John Schmitt
  • Ben Zipperer

Abstract

This report updates an earlier report from January of 2007, which found a steep rise in illegal firings of pro-union workers in the 2000s relative to the last half of the 1990s. It updates the index of the probability that a pro-union worker will be fired in the course of a union election campaign, using published data from the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). It also takes into consideration the increase in card-check organizing campaigns that began in the mid-1990s and adjusts the index for this factor. By 2007, pro-union workers involved in union election campaigns faced about a 1.8 percent chance of being illegally fired during the course of the campaign. If we assume that employers target union organizers and activists, and that union organizers and activists make up about 10 percent of pro-union workers, our estimates suggest that almost one-in-five union organizers or activists can expect to be fired as a result of their activities in a union election campaign. Since 2000, illegal firings have marred over one-in-four NLRB-sponsored union elections, reaching 30 percent of elections in 2007.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) in its series CEPR Reports and Issue Briefs with number 2009-12.

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Length: 22 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:epo:papers:2009-12

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Related research

Keywords: illegal firings; unions; NLRB; EFCA; organizing campaigns;

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Cited by:
  1. John Schmitt & Alexandra Mitukiewicz, 2012. "Politics matter: changes in unionisation rates in rich countries, 1960–2010," Industrial Relations Journal, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 43(3), pages 260-280, 05.

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