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Fighting Union Busters in a Carolina Carpet Mill: An Organizer's Memoir

Fighting Union Busters in a Carolina Carpet Mill: An Organizer's Memoir

by Phil Cohen


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In 2017, Workers United/SEIU called veteran organizer Phil Cohen out of retirement to investigate and expose a union-busting plot by Mohawk Industries at a North Carolina carpet mill. His hard-hitting account chronicles the resulting labor dispute that rocked a Fortune 500 company. The organizer had to prove management was behind an illegal decertification petition and forced workers to sign using strong-arm tactics. Though terrified of retaliation, witnesses gradually agreed to testify before federal agents. Mohawk retained a high-powered union-busting attorney who appealed directly to ultra-conservative heads of the National Labor Relations Board, while Right to Work Committee lawyers framed the issue as a test case to revoke laws protecting employee rights. The union's only hope rested on presenting evidence too formidable for political bias to surmount. This memoir, infused with dry wit and insights into human nature, blows the lid off the nation's union-busting epidemic, thrusting readers into the tumultuous environment of a union hall in crisis.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781476683041
Publisher: McFarland & Company, Incorporated Publishers
Publication date: 09/15/2020
Pages: 208
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.42(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Phil Cohen emerged from a tough working class background to become one of the labor movement's most celebrated field agents responsible for landmark decisions by the National Labor Relations Board and OSHA.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments v

Author's Note 1

Prologue 3

Part 1 The Campaign

1 The Committee 9

2 Meeting with Witnesses 21

3 Plant Tour 41

4 Labor Board Investigation 62

5 The Three Girls 67

6 The Union Busting Lawyer 74

7 Federal Agent's Grim Forecast 81

Part 2 The Case Unfolds

8 National Right to Work Attorneys 91

9 Illegal Discharge 102

10 Cartoons 109

11 Labor Board Decision 111

12 Becoming a Test Case 118

13 Union Lawyers 129

14 Preparing for Trial 138

15 Injured Workers 152

Part 3 Aftermath

16 Compliance Period 161

17 The Tornado 167

18 House Calls 172

19 Shop Floor Confrontation 177

20 A Barrage of New Issues 184

Index 199

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