POLITICS

Scritti Politti: May 4, 2009

06/04/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

We'll see if the results of this recent study undertaken by the University of Illinois-Chicago makes it into the discussion of the Employee Free Choice Act by the media, who have largely accepted the premise that card-check leads to union intimidation without question. The study basically obliterates that argument:

Since 2003, Illinois labor law has allowed public sector workers in municipal, county, state, and educational institutions to organize a union via a majority sign-up certification process (PDF). By submitting authorization cards, petitions, or any other evidence that demonstrates that a majority of the employees wish to bargain collectively with a union, the Illinois Labor Relations Board (ILRB) or the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board (in the case of teachers) can certify a bargaining unit without requiring a full workplace election. Petitions may be defeated if "clear and convincing evidence" is presented showing that the cards were obtained by "fraud or coercion." (In these situations, the boards generally order an election.)

Thanks to Freedom of Information requests and follow-up interviews with a number of board agents, Bob Bruno, co-director of the University of Illinois-Chicago's Labor Education Program, got his hands on all of the case data for fiscal years 2003-2009. His findings are astonishing.

In the past six years, 21,197 public sector workers from a wide variety of industries have organized under the new guidelines, with the boards certifying 799 units. While just under 300 petitions were dismissed because the union failed to achieve majority support, literally zero petitions were thrown out because of labor coercion. From the report (PDF):

While the extensive use of MIP and their representativeness of the state's workforce are impressive, the most dramatic outcome of the provision's administration is the total absence of any employee or union abuse. In over 1,000 cases there is only one allegation of union coercion or fraud to compel or induce workers to sign authorizations. The ILRB found the complaint to be meritless.

For more, click here.

The Quoteable Jay Rosen: Now available on Twitter! "GOP leaders just launched a listening tour and The Politico's report is all about what they said on tour. See the problem? "

Les Miserables: Apparently the people at National Review Online got just as sick as seeing Susan Boyle on the teevee as I did. However, I stopped short of making bizarre analogies.

Mystery At Dulles Airport: Since I regularly read (and, in the interest of full disclosure, write for) DCist, I made note of the fact that Dulles Airport went into a security lockdown on Saturday afternoon. Naturally, I'd have thought that the news of a major ariport in the DC area getting locked down would attract the attention of other news organizations. I'm a little creeped out at the fact that this seems not to be the case!

Etiquette In the Time Of Swine Flu: Videogum highlights this marvelous -- and timely! -- video on "workplace coughing strategies." Because with swine flu lurking around every corner, can you afford to not have sound coughing strategies? Really, I think most of you shall benefit from having even an unsound coughing strategy.

WATCH:

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