The Perils of Union Activism Have Been Greatly Exaggerated

The AFL-CIO and other proponents of the Employee Free Choice Act have argued that many union organizing campaigns are defeated because employers illegally terminate union supporters. In this article, Littler's David Christlieb and Allan King analyze the empirical support for these claims. Specifically, the AFL-CIO, the lawmakers supporting the EFCA, and the news media have focused on three studies which claim that employers commonly fire union supporters. However, of these three studies, two are based on surveys of union organizers themselves. The third study is based on outdated or unproven assumptions applied to National Labor Relations Board statistics. Thus, this article concludes that there is no empirical support for the statistical arguments made in favor of the EFCA.