Teamsters win organized labor award

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SEIU takes 2nd place in most-decertified union contest

The International Brotherhood of Teamsters is the winner of Union Free America’s 3rd Annual “Most Decertified Union Award.” This honor is awarded to the labor union that lost the most decertification elections during the preceding 12 months.

The judging was based on an analysis of the reports of election results on the National Labor Relations Board’s web site for the period August 2007 through July 2008. During that time the NLRB conducted 330 decertification elections. Employees seeking to rid themselves of a union won 201 or 61 percent of them.

The Teamsters union won the “Most Decertified Union Award” by being decertified 64 times during that period. The Teamsters were involved in a total of 84 decertification elections of which they lost 76 percent.

The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) came in a distant second by being decertified 15 times.

The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) won honorable mention by being certified 9 times. This may seem paltry compared to the Teamsters, but IBEW deserves recognition for being decertified in 9 out of 10 elections.

The Teamsters outstanding performance helped the Change to Win unions soundly defeat the AFL-CIO affiliates in the competition, despite the fact that the AFL-CIO is a considerably larger federation. Change to Win unions participated in a total of 164 decertification elections and lost 97 of them compared to just 132 elections with 80 losses for the AFL-CIO.

Colorful certificates commemorating these achievements have been sent to the Teamsters, Service Employees and Electrical Workers unions.

The number of union certification elections conducted by the National Labor Relations Board has been declining for quite some time. Between August 2000 and July 2001, the earliest comparable period for which data is available online, the NLRB conducted 2,726 certification elections and unions won 1,445 of them. Between August 2007 and July 2008 the NLRB conducted only 1,604 certification elections and unions won just 995 of them. That's a decline 40 percent.

The same isn't true of decertification elections. Between August 2000 and July 2001 the NLRB conducted 360 decertification elections a decline of only 8 percent.

The decline in the number of certification elections is generally attributable to the unions inability to convince workers to vote for union representation in a secret ballot election.

Labor union officials are pressing for legislation to deny employees the right to a secret ballot vote on union representation. This bill is ironically named the "Employee Free Choice Act." The undemocratic scheme the unions would use to replace elections is called a "card check" in which a union is certified by a bare majority of workers signing authorization cards.

David Denholm, the founder of Union Free America, observes that, "The so-called 'free choice act' is a completely one sided proposal. It has no provision for allowing employees to rid themselves of unwanted unions through a card-check."

Union Free America was founded in 2002 to provide advice and encouragement to workers fighting to stay, or become, Union Free. The “Most Decertified Union Award” was established in 2006 in response to the growing number of requests from workers for information about how they could rid themselves of unwanted union representation.


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