From the desk of Steve Cabot: Maybe it’s arrogance, as Organized Labor feels increasingly emboldened by its protectors and enablers in the Administration and Congress. Or maybe it’s desperation, as union leaders sense a political sea change that threatens those cozy relationships and their delusional demands at the bargaining table.

Whatever the motivation, what is clear is that employers are being confronted increasingly by labor tactics as old as extortion and physical violence and as new as cyber attacks and a range of dirty tricks impacting companies and their customers alike.

One current high-profile illustration of over-the-line union thuggery involves a broad campaign of blackmail, extortion and other criminal acts against Sodexo USA, which has filed suit against SEIU in federal court under the RICO Act. A U.S. district judge recently denied the union’s motion for dismissal, thus green-lighting the case for immediate prosecution.

One of the documents discovered as this case has unfolded is a 70-page “how-to” intimidation manual (click here to download) which encourages, among other things, targeting board members and their families for public harassment and personal embarrassment within their community. You may remember an example of this in May when SEIU drove 14 busloads of screaming, bullhorn-equipped, placard-carrying protestors to the home of Bank of America’s deputy general counsel in suburban Washington, DC, terrifying their teenage son who was alone in the house.

It has been equally alarming to watch the union tactics in the Verizon strike. You may have seen the viral video of a picketer pushing his young daughter in front of a moving Verizon truck while shouting obscenities at the nonunion employees trying to get to work. In a related incident, police in Uniontown, PA reported an act of “criminal mischief” in which the power was cut to all land lines in the area,  including those to state police barracks and other emergency services. All indications are that it was an inside job.

This is disturbing stuff. And while Organized Labor may take comfort knowing they are being given a long leash by the pro-union NLRB and Department of Justice, 2012 is coming – and the American people will be heard.

expert labor relations advice


From the desk of Stephen Cabot: After years of often provocative and aggressive organizing efforts, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) has finally had its efforts circumscribed. While the NLRB had recently informed Corporate America that it must post information about workers’ rights to join unions that same NLRB has surprisingly and uncharacteristically informed the SEIU that it cannot prevent workers, who do not support its activities, from working. At Morehouse College in Atlanta, the SEIU had been trying to organize the workers of Sodexo, which operates the college’s dining facilities.

The NLRB ordered SEIU to post notices that it not “restrain or coerce” employees “in the exercise of their rights guaranteed” under Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act, which includes the right not to engage in union activities.

Following an SEIU organized demonstration at the college, Sodexo had complained to the NLRB that there was an effort by the SEIU to prevent employees, who chose not to participate in the demonstration, from coming to work in the college’s dining facilities.

While this is certainly an unusual action for the pro-union NLRB, one cannot expect the Board to continue being fair and balanced and stick to the letter and spirit of the National Labor Relations Act. The Board’s majority composition remains decidedly pro-union.

expert labor relations advice