Friday, May 5, 2023
Recently, the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) published data that offers insight as to the extent to which corporations will go to make sure they keep unions out of their businesses. The numbers are staggering.
The EPI got their data from an organization called LaborLab who analyzed the LM-10 forms that were filed by consultants with the U.S. Department of Labor Office of Labor-Management Standards.
For years now, a favorite union-busting tactic for large corporations has been to hire professional “union-avoidance” consultants to dissuade and weaken workers’ unionization efforts. EPI estimates that employers spend over $430 million per year on these consultants. As you can imagine, some of the largest non-union corporations spend the most on union-avoidance consultants. Below is the list of amounts union avoidance consultants reported receiving from selected employers for work performed in the calendar year 2021.
- Amazon - $4,260,000
- United Natural Foods - $2,650,000
- American Auto Association, N. California, Nevada, Utah - $1,923,000
- Grocery Delivery E-Services (Hello Fresh) - $1,638,000
- Maine Health - $958,000
- El Milagro Tortillas - $863,000
- Curation Foods - $689,000
Of course, the amount that must be reported by law for union-avoidance consultants is only a small portion of the money spent by corporations overall to prevent workers from forming unions. In unity, there is strength. And from the amount of money they spend on union-avoidance it is clear that corporate leaders believe that they can make it more difficult for workers to bargain for fair wages, employee benefits and working conditions if they keep workers from coming together to bargain as one group.
Right now, supporters of unions are advocating for new laws that would protect workers from union-busting activities. One of these laws is known as the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act. If passed, the law would require disclosure of indirect persuader activities by union-avoidance consultants. This would at least allow workers the opportunity to know how much money corporations are spending to keep them from organizing and, perhaps, use this information against those businesses at the bargaining table. There is also a No Tax Breaks for Union Busting Act that has been proposed. This legislation would prevent employers from deducting union-avoidance expenditures from their taxes.
If you are interested in reading more about the union busting efforts of big business and what can be done to try to even the playing field and give workers a fair shot to organize and form unions, if they choose to do so, click the link below to read the full article published on the EPI website: