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The cases in this report describe employers' blatant contempt for the rights of workers to voice their opinions in the workplace. Obsessed with retaining unilateral and total authority over their employees, the owners of companies and their agents go to great lengths to crush efforts by workers to exercise their right to an independent voice.

Employers harass, intimidate, and threaten workers with reprisal so that they will abandon their quest for union representation. Those who emerge as leaders of these attempts at self-organization and those who openly question terms and conditions of employment are singled out for ridicule, assigned onerous tasks, disciplined, and often fired.

While management wages a frontal attack on workers, company lawyers manipulate the legal process to delay, frustrate and defeat the campaign for independent representation. As a result, the right to an independent voice for workers has become a mirage.


Suggested Citation

Hurd, R. W. (1994). Assault on workers’ rights [Electronic version]. Washington, DC: AFL-CIO. Retrieved [insert date], from Cornell University, ILR School site:

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Copyright by the AFL-CIO. Document posted with special permission by the copyright holder.