Union Busting as Terrorism

Confessions of a Union BusterUnion busting is a field populated by bullies and built on deceit. A campaign against a union is an assault on individuals and a war on the truth. As such, it is a war without honor. The only way to bust a union is to lie, distort, manipulate, threaten, and always, always attack. The law does not hamper the process. Rather, it serves to suggest maneuvers and define strategies. Each “union prevention” campaign, as the wars are called, turns on a combined strategy of disinformation and personal assaults.

When a chief executive hires a labor relations consultant to battle a union, he gives the consultant run of the company and closes his eyes. The consultant, backed by attorneys, installs himself in the corporate offices and goes to work creating a climate of terror that inevitably is blamed on the union.

Some corporate executives I encountered liked to think of their anti-union consultants as generals. But really the consultants are terrorists. Like political terrorists, the consultants’ attacks are intensely personal. Terrorists do not make factories and air strips their victims; they choose instead crippled old men and schoolchildren. Likewise, as the consultants go about the business of destroying unions, they invade people’s lives, demolish their friendships, crush their will, and shatter their families.

—Martin Jay Levitt
Confessions of a Union Buster

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