“We have the right to educate you”: Workplace indoctrination caught on tape
Two leaked recordings offer a rare first-hand taste of the workplace pressure tactics advocates say are all too common whenever workers try to form a union. One recording captures a manager telling an activist worker one-on-one “there’s nothing I don’t know,” “there’s no secrets anymore,” and “I am upset with you personally” for pursuing unionization without telling him. The other captures the same manager telling a group of employees in an October 24 meeting, “we have the right to educate you, and we’re gonna exercise that right.”
Both clips were recorded by Duluth, Georgia employees of Iron Mountain, a document storage company. Workers in a driving and shredding unit have petitioned to join the Teamsters union, triggering a government-supervised election scheduled for late November – and what organizers charge is a coercive campaign of surveillance, retaliation, and anti-union lectures designed to keep the company 97% union free.
“They’re constantly talking to us” and “harassing us” not to unionize, one Iron Mountain employee told Salon. He asked that his name be withheld due to fear of punishment. “A lot of guys want this thing but are scared to speak out because they don’t want to deal with the retaliation.”