The REAL Problem With the NLRB’s Ambush Elections Rule: Unions LIE.

Recently, a federal court smacked down Barack Obama’s union appointees at the National Labor Relations Board for the manner in which they imposed their ambush election scheme. The scheme is, however, far from dead as the union-controlled labor board is “determined to move forward” with the needless rules. While there is much opposition to the NLRB’s ambush election rules, few have yet to address the underlying issue that makes the scheme unfair to workers and a disaster for America’s union-free workplace and that is: Unions and their organizers LIE to and deceive workers…All. The. Time.


What’s worse is that, not only do unions lie to, trick and deceive workers into unionizing, it’s perfectly legal to do so.

With a median time from petition-filing to election, unions have been winning around 60% or more of the elections conducted by the NLRB for about a decade (unions won 71% in 2011).

However, with ambush elections, the union win rate is expected to increase to around 90% and here’s why: A longer time frame allows for more information to be given to voting employees and, therefore, leaves unions vulnerable to having their lies, trickery and deception exposed.

Under U.S. labor law vis-à-vis the National Labor Relations Act (as well as its sister law for the airline and railroad industries, the Railway Labor Act), unions are not held accountable for the lies and deception they foist on workers to goad them into unionizing. Unfortunately for workers, it’s caveat emptor (buyer beware) and many have paid the price in wasted dues, labor disputes and job losses.

The current rationale for giving unions free reign to lie and to deceive workers is a 1977 a case called Shopping Kart Food Market. In the case, the Carter NLRB ruled to overturn 15 years of somewhat reasonable standards by overruling an employer’s objection to a union’s lie.


In its ruling, the NLRB stated:  “In sum, we decide today that the Board will no longer probe into the truth or falsity of the parties’ campaign statements.”

After nearly 30 years of dealing with union issues, including eight years within the union movement (which, coincidentally, ceased after discovering the vastness of union lies) and the last nearly 20 years combating union organizers’ lies, the depths to which unions and their organizers still sink in deceiving workers is amazing.

Over the last two decades, literally thousands of workers have shared their stories of what union organizers have told them to get union authorization cards signed, or promised them in order to convince them to unionize.

Even though it is illegal for an employer to make promises, one of the most common tactics unions use to hoodwink workers into signing union authorization cards is to make actual or implied promises of betterment.

Although no union organizer can guarantee the promises he makes, or course, the NLRB permits this type of deception, which is why we always encourage workers during union campaigns to get the union organizer’s promises guaranteed in writing.


Here are just a few examples from over the years:

  • One of the more common lies organizers tell workers is that a signature on a union authorization card is only to be put on a mailing list. Of course, an individual’s signature is the first step to either holding an election or unionizing workers through card check.
  • Recently, we encountered a union lying to workers by claiming their employer had a facility in another state that was unionized and the employer was hiding it from the employees. It was a lie. The employer had no union facility in that state.
  • Some years ago, a union organizer told a group of Hispanic (and undocumented) workers that, by signing a union authorization card, they would be getting their “work papers.” When the workers were informed that the union had lied to them, they demanded their signed cards back. Not only did the union refuse to give them their cards back, it then threatened to call immigration authorities if they did not continue supporting the union.

Occasionally, union lies make the press as happened recently. According to the Cape Cod Times, it was alleged that SEIU organizers visited night shift workers of an employer at group homes “under false pretenses, urging employees to sign a survey they were told was for Fellowship (the employer)…”


When unions have weeks, months, or longer to wage a stealth campaign of deception on workers (by design, it is often without employer knowledge), to hobble an employer’s ability to counter the union lies is an injustice. That is why ambush elections are wrong–and that’s the truth.


“Truth isn’t mean. It’s truth.”
Andrew Breitbart (1969-2012)

Cross-posted on



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