Monday, September 27, 2010

Confessions of a Union Buster

Martin's book of the same title has been an invaluable resource for organizers. The video below gives you a taste of what is going on during a union busting campaign. Recommended.

Confessed Union Buster Shares Trade Secrets with Delta Flight Attendants


by Mike Hall, Sep 24, 2010


The late Martin Jay Levitt spent 19 years “on the dark side,” running 250 union-busting campaigns for corporations around the country. He was good at it, too, losing a mere five.

In this video, “Confessions of a Union Buster,”  Levitt share his experience, trade secrets and tips with Delta Air Lines’ more than 20,000 flight attendants who will begin voting Sept. 29 onforming a union with the Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA-CWA). The video was produced by Delta AFA using excerpts  from Levitt’s seminars and book of the same name.

Two of the main gospels of any anti-union campaign, says Levitt, are misinformation and fear.

A union buster without the atmosphere or climate of fear is like working without one leg and one arm. Fear is essential. Fear is like caviar, lobster and filet mignon to a union buster. Along with breaking the law, the element and emotion of fear is vital.

No surprise, but as in past campaigns Delta is running an anti-union drive with fear and misinformation as the focus. Then, says Levitt, comes the divide and conquer strategy.

The more we knew about the demographics and individuals, the more we could set them up. We would pit religion against religion, race against race…we would use background information to set people in some vicious ways, plant false rumors, to ruin lives, if you will.

But there is one thing, Levitt says, that union busters fear the most: An informed and prepared group of workers who are in a sense “inoculated” against the tactics and schemes in the union buster’s playbook.

When inoculation is put in force with employees and they see it come true, it creates a feeling of rage—“How can the company be doing something like that?”—and that rage translates to a solidarity which beat me…the most effective weapon you have to beat the union buster is exposure.

The Delta election runs through Nov. 3 and will be conducted under the National Mediation Board’s new democratic election rules that allow a majority of votes cast to decide the outcome. Yesterday, Senate Republicans failed to overturn the new rules. For more information and the latest news on the campaign, visit

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