Impediments to Effective Worker Voice in the Private Sector (i) Captive Audience Meetings (ii) Lack of Remedies and First Contracts (iii) Permanent Replacements and the Illusory Right to Strike C.
This paper begins by focusing on three of the more significant impediments to effective workplace representation under the Wagner model in the private sector workplace: the use of captive audience meetings by employers to intimidate and coerce employees during organizing campaigns; the lack of meaningful remedies for violations of the NLRA (including the lack of a method for forcing first collective agreements); and the increasing use of permanent replacements for strikers, with a corresponding decrease in the use of the strike weapon.
114) Attendance at captive audience meetings is compelled: Employees must listen to anti-union speeches or face termination.
131) decided a few years after the free speech amendment was enacted, the Board departed from earlier holdings and held that employers were allowed to hold captive audience meetings in violation of their own no-solicitation rules without allowing union organizers comparable rights to communicate with employees during work time.
Union busting is business as usual: 25 percent of companies fire one or more workers for union activity during union campaigns, 75 percent hire on anti-union consultants, 92 percent force employees to attend captive audience meetings
, and 52 percent threaten to call the Immigration and Naturalization Service if the union drive involves undocumented immigrants, according to Uneasy Terrain: The Impact of Capital Mobility on Workers, Wages, and Union Organizing, a 2000 study by Kate Bronfenbrenner, director of labor education research at Cornell University.
For example, during the Amalgamated Clothing and Textile Workers Union (ACTWU, now part of UNITE) campaign at the Tultex plant in Martinsville, Virginia, the company showed a videotape in captive audience meetings which provided graphic footage of former ACTWU plants in New Jersey with boarded windows and padlocked gates, implying that the plants all had shut down in the aftermath of violent strikes which are inevitable if a union comes in.
Another company provided statistics in a captive audience meeting on the average wage of a Mexican auto worker, the average wage of their U.