American headlines are saturated with an outpouring of pro-union activity and support; major news outlets claim that interest in union organizing is increasing at companies across the country. In reality, a slim percentage of America’s workers are interested in joining a union even as Democrats and the Biden administration assemble task forces and mandate union support.
To help cut through the nonsense spread by the Left, we separate myth from fact:
Myth: Union organizing successes at roughly 200 Starbucks locations proves worker support for unions. Workers at other major companies are also unionizing.
Fact: Only roughly 200 out of 9,000 wholly owned Starbucks locations have unionized. Further, only about 6,300 Starbucks employees have unionized out of approximately 279,000. Only one out of 270 Apple stores voted to unionize, and no other locations have even had a vote. As of 2021, private sector union membership was at 6.1 percent, the lowest it has ever been.
Myth: Union activity is on the rise and unions are working hard to organize more workers.
Fact: According to testimony we’ll hear today: “Union activity in the country—as measured by petition activity compared to potential new members—remains low. In FY 2021 there were 103.5 million potential private sector employees available for organizing in the country under the NLRA. The number of employees petitioned-for, in that same year, according to NLRB statistics, was only 46,880. Accordingly, unions only sought to represent 0.453% of potential private sector members in the country.”
Myth: Being pro-union means being pro-worker.
Fact: “Pro-union” really means being pro-union boss. Union bosses repeatedly prove they care more about holding on to their own power and advancing their left-wing political agenda than advocating for workers. The AFL-CIO devotes less than 11 percent of its resources to representational activity and spends more than 25 percent on political activities and lobbying.
Myth: Unionization is on the decline because there are too many barriers to organizing.
Fact: American workers do not want to join a union because they don’t want to fork over their hard-earned paycheck to union bosses that will spend it on leftist political pet projects. Further, the National Labor Relations Act has an extensive list of unfair labor practices to prohibit reprisals against organizing and ensure union elections are fair and lawful. The Biden administration’s National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has not been shy in enforcing these laws and blatantly rewriting—or reviving—regulations to tilt the election process in favor of unions and empower organizers to heckle and harass workers.
Myth: Republicans are anti-union.
Fact: Republicans support workers’ freedom to choose whether to unionize or not. However, Republicans oppose any interference by federal agencies to force workers into unions or promote unfair election practices. For example, one NLRB whistleblower alleged that agency employees worked with organizers to rig elections in favor of unions. Republicans are committed to conducting oversight and upholding the integrity of union elections.
Myth: The PRO Act will help workers.
Fact: The PRO-Union Bosses Act would strip workers of choice. This radical left-wing legislation would nullify right-to-work laws in 27 states, thereby forcing workers to pay union dues, regardless of whether workers want to fork over their wages or support a union’s political agenda. This is an attack on self-government and workers’ choice. This legislation would also eliminate the “independent contractor” classification and negatively impact franchisees.
Myth: The NLRB has been acting as an independent arbiter between organizing workers and employers as it was set up to do by law.
Fact: The NLRB has attempted to tip the scales in favor of unionization and, in the case of one Starbucks union election, allegedly participated in gross misconduct to give organizing employees an advantage. Despite agreeing to an election by mail-in-ballot, the NLRB brought workers into its own office to vote—thereby violating terms of the election. If it happens at one Starbucks location, it could be happening elsewhere. There is nothing impartial about Biden’s activist NLRB.
Myth: Union bosses do not need more accountability and transparency.
Fact: Federal investigators uncovered more than a decade of rampant corruption among the senior ranks of the United Auto Workers union, which has included money laundering, tax fraud, bribery, and embezzling union dues for lavish personal expenses. Despite these discoveries, Democrats refuse to provide proper oversight over unions. The Biden administration even issued a rule overturning Trump-era transparency requirements, allowing union bosses to continue spending member dues without proper oversight.
Myth: Employers stand in the way of unionizing efforts and must be silenced.
Fact: Employers should have the right to educate their employees on what unionization will mean for their company. Silencing job creators, as the Biden-appointed NLRB General Counsel suggests doing by reinstituting the Joy Silk doctrine, infringes on employers’ free speech at workers’ expense.