Our findings confirm Bronfenbrenner’s 2009 findings and suggest that anti-union activity may be increasing among employers: Share of union elections with a ULP charge, all charges and illegal firings charges, our estimates and estimates from previous studies published in 2005 and 2009

Low High
EPI, NLRB, all sizes 41.5%
EPI, NLRB, 50+ 54.2%
Bronfenbrenner, NLRB, 50+ 30.0% 10.0%
EPI, NLRB, all sizes 19.9% 9.8%
EPI, NLRB, 50+ 27.2% 13.4%
Bronfenbrenner, NLRB, 50+ 17.0%
Bronfenbrenner, survey, 50+ 34.0%
Mehta & Theodore, survey 30.0%
Schmitt & Zipperer, NLRB 26.0%

Notes: The rows “EPI, NLRB, all sizes” and “EPI, NLRB, 50+” refer to our current analysis of National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) data from union elections for which a petition was filed or the election was completed in 2016–2017, for potential bargaining units of any size (“all sizes”), and for larger units of 50 or more employees (“50+”). For the latter group, data are available only for those elections that had been completed by the time we obtained the data in 2018. For each group, we estimate a range based on broad and narrow definitions of “firing.” “Bronfenbrenner, NLRB, 50+” refers to Bronfenbrenner’s 2009 analysis of NLRB data for larger units (“50+”) that had elections in 1999–2003, which includes two estimates, while “Bronfenbrenner, survey, 50+” refers to her analysis of survey data for these larger units. Estimates from Mehta and Theodore’s 2005 analysis of survey data for elections that were petitioned for in 2002 and Schmitt and Zipperer’s 2009 analysis of 2001–2007 NLRB data are also shown.

Sources: Authors’ analysis of National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) election data for calendar years 2016–2017 and ULP filings from fiscal years 2015–2018; Bronfenbrenner, No Holds Barred–The Intensification of Employer Opposition to Organizing (2009); Mehta and Theodore, Undermining the Right to Organize: Employer Behavior During Union Representation Campaigns (2005); Schmitt and Zipperer, Dropping the Ax: Illegal Firings During Union Election Campaigns, 1951–2007 (2009)

View the underlying data on epi.org.