Invasion of Privacy? Union Home Visits At Boeing Hint At What’s Coming With Ambush Elections

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Annoying salesmanEarlier this week, Boeing was required to provide a list of over 3,000 of its employees’ names, as well as their home addresses, to the National Labor Relations Board and the machinists union that is trying to unionize the North Charleston plant.

According to Reuters, the union will be using that list to visit Boeing’s employees at their homes prior to the NLRB election scheduled for later this month.

A machinists union campaign to organize Boeing Co’s South Carolina operations began in earnest on Tuesday, as the company turned over a list of about 3,000 employees eligible for an April 22 organizing vote.

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The union will use the eligibility list to visit homes and “do as much face to face as possible” to discuss the benefits of organization, said Frank Larkin an IAM spokesman.

That the Machinists’ union plans on visiting employees’ homes is nothing new, as companies faced with NLRB elections have been required to furnish lists of employee names and addresses since the mid-1960s.

“Housecalling is an incredibly effective method of organizing,” states one source. “Housecalling affords you an opportunity to sit down and talk with a worker face to face. If you are trying to persuade someone to do something, there is no more effective method of communications than face to face.”

Union housecalls are prevalent in many union campaigns. In Fresno, California, for example, the SEIU used 1,000 organizers to “blitz” 10,000 public employees who were considering voting for a different union.

In New Jersey, the Laborers’ union used “rank-and-file organizers” to make more than 1,000 house calls in order to unionize asbestos workers.

However, as a result of the NLRB’s enactment of its controversial “ambush election rules” on April 14th, union organizers will not only gain access to employees’ names and addresses but, under the new rules, the NLRB will be requiring companies to furnish employees, names, their home addresses, as well as telephone numbers and email addresses.

This means that, in the very near future, unlike Boeing’s employees and their families who—right now—may only be subjected to union organizers knocking at their doors, employees facing union campaigns at their companies will face home visits, as well as telephone calls and emails from union organizers.

Is it any wonder that the NLRB’s new rules are considered “ambush” elections?

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