So here’s the most biased description of salting you’ll ever see:

“Salting” abuse is the intentional placing of trained union professional organizers and agents in a merit shop facility to harass or disrupt company operations, apply economic pressure, increase operating and legal costs, and ultimately put the company out of business.

Now why would the goal of union organizers be to put a company out of business? That would seem counterproductive. But hey, I’m just common sense guy, what do I know.

I was a salt once upon a time, and in my experience it was mostly how unions integrated radical college kids into their program and trained them to be organizers. They have a very effective system of personnel development set up that is built around workplaces that turns employees into organizers. Rather than run a parallel program for non-workers, you have your promising young radicals get jobs at targeted companies.

The college kids develop relationships with more working class folk and begin gaining legitimacy to organize in that community. They get on the job training in fighting a campaign. And they don’t drain union resources.

Of course, it’s also helpful to the campaign to have very dependable allies on the inside, and it can be done for that reason alone.  Regardless it’s not nearly as sinister as the Associated Builders and Contractors would have the world believe.

Much worse is the widespread employer practice of clearing new hires with their anti-union consultants to ensure that new workers will be company men.  Salting helps even the playing field, which remains ridiculously stacked against workers.

2 comments to Salting

  • Merit Man

    How is it counterproductive for a union person to put a non-union shop out of business. That would seem to me to serve the union’s purposes perfectly.

    The idea that employers routinely fire employees that attempt to legally unionize the companies where they work is ridiculous. If this were true, there would not be nearly as many NLRB secret ballot elections each year. These are the same secret ballot elections that the union and their minion in the Congress tried to eradicate earlier this year.

    The fact of the matter is that our society has progressed beyond the socialist-style labor manipulation of Big Labor. In this day and age, abusive employers are unable to retain a quality workforce because the vast majority of employers are giving their employees a fair wage and good working environment.

  • If a union has enough power to put a shop out of business, then it has sufficient leverage to unionize the shop. Most any company owner would choose to negotiate with the union rather than see their business destroyed.

    If a union has a choice between destroying and organizing a company, the latter is the obvious choice. More members means more dues means more organizers/services. If demand for the relevant industry is increasing, then shutting down a company achieves nothing; a new one will rise in it’s place. Plus unions can’t predict which companies will be successful and which will fail. Better to organize them all, let the best companies prosper, and then negotiate richer contracts with the better companies.

    The idea that employers routinely fire pro-union employees is not ridiculous at all. It is not something I can prove, since no one is ever explicitly fired for being pro-union; all I have is numerous anecdotes.

    However, your claim has even less support. How many NLRB elections should there be with and without firing? How could one even determine this number? How can you claim to have a sense of the appropriateness of the number of elections? Your NLRB election quantity argument has no factual basis.

    Then you bring up an unrelated dispute: Card-check vs. NLRB elections. The conflict is in part because unions & “minions” feel employers have too much power in the unionization process, including their ability to fire pro-union employees. But this hardly supports your point, unless one grants your main thesis: unions are commie relics of the past.

    This argument is undermined by the fact that union workers are better paid and receive better benefits then their non-union brethren. Most significantly 50% of all workers are not given health coverage by their employer, while 75% of union members have employer health care. That sounds pretty relevant to me; news of the post-union utopia have been greatly exaggerated.

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