When a union attempts to organize a workplace, the management inevitably tries to talk workers out of it. Usually, that happens out of the public eye. But at one workplace, an audio recorder was running.
Truck drivers at the Duluth, GA facility of the multinational storage company Iron Mountain are considering unionizing. This is a recording of a recent meeting in which two Iron Mountain managers "educate" the employees about the downside of a union. (The link was sent out last night to an email list of labor journalists.) Its content is not especially outrageous—its value lies in the fact that it offers a full look at one of the many little stumbling blocks that go along with any workplace's attempt to organize.
"This is the South. This is not something where unions are [prevalent]," says one manager. "If the union comes in, it will make it much more difficult to get things done." When the other manager addresses the employees, he says of their union campaign, "I can't help but take it personally... it does hurt. It does sting."
At one point, a manager tells the workers, "No one in this room has more union experience than me." At that, one worker speaks up to note that he was in a union for five years at a previous workplace, and tells a story of how the union helped save his job after the company tried to fire him unjustly. "Well shame on the company," replies the manager, "but we don't do that here." (The worker's previous employer would no doubt say the same thing.)
The full 20-minute meeting is below.