I4AW Poll: Americans Want More Transparency in Union Organizing and Worker Enfranchisement

  • 75% of Americans want disclosure of undercover union organizers called salts
  • 84% of Americans want a minimum percentage of workers to participate in a union election before a union receives a monopoly to represent all workers

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  October 24, 2023
CONTACT: Mary Ellen Beatty, MaryEllen@i4aw.org

HAMILTON – New polling by Institute for the American Worker shows that transparency rules on union salting are supported by a strong majority of Americans. Salts are union organizers who apply for jobs at a workplace to organize an employer without disclosing they work for the union. Of the 1,010 American adults surveyed, 75% want greater transparency of salts to equal the playing field with employers who are already required to disclose the hiring of consultants that talk to employees about unionization.

In the process of salting, unions hire people who then apply for jobs at non-union stores to organize the employer. These union organizers then encourage their colleagues to unionize. Employers who hire these salts have no idea they are paid by unions to organize the workplace.

“Unions should make the case for representation in plain sight and let the workers decide,” said President of Institute for the American Worker F. Vincent Vernuccio. “Instead, unions are deceiving employers and the very employees they want to represent. The tactic is dishonest and, because of disclosure rules at the Department of Labor, one sided.”

In addition, 62% percent of those surveyed want to give employers the ability  to ask job applicants if they are a union organizer-  a concept in Rep. Rick Allen’s (R-GA) Truth in Employment Act.

Finally, 59% want unionization elections with hidden salts to be thrown out as unfair and employees then given a fresh election.

Oversight of the process was also a factor. As mentioned earlier, 75% agreed that salts should be required to file disclosure reports with the Department of Labor just as management consultants- those hired by companies to tell their view about unionization- are required to do.

“At the very least, there should be equity in disclosure,” said Vernuccio. “If employers need to disclose the consultants they hire to talk to employees, unions should have to disclose the salts they hire to do the same thing.”

Another popular concept in the poll was the need for a minimum number of employees voting in order for unions to organize a worksite.  Eighty-four percent of respondents agreed unions should need at least a 50 percent quorum before representing employees.

I4AW research shows that unions are winning many elections with a mere fraction of workers voting. A required quorum would ensure greater worker participation and input in the process.

“This is about worker enfranchisement.” Said Vernuccio “When unions organize workers, they then get a monopoly representing all employees at the job. They should need to win an election where a majority of those workers have a voice.”

Between July 24-26, 2023, Institute for the American Worker commissioned the bipartisan research firm Big Village to conduct an online omnibus survey of a demographically representative U.S. sample of 1,010 adults 18 years of age and older.

For more information on the polling data, visit https://i4aw.org/resources/polling-results-on-union-salting-and-union-elections/

To speak with F. Vincent Vernuccio, please email MaryEllen@i4aw.org to set up an interview.

Institute for the American Worker is a non-profit 501c3 organization that educates policymakers on complex labor legislation and offers policy solutions that benefit the American worker.