Herman Cain Thinks CEOs Can Fire Workers For Organizing Unions

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Among a host of other outlandish claims about unions, former presidential candidate and Godfather's Pizza CEO Herman Cain claimed that even though his former employees at the pizza chain had the right to unionize, he had the right to fire them for doing so. The problem with the claim is that it is 100 percent false:

The National Labor Relations Act forbids employers from interfering with, restraining, or coercing employees in the exercise of rights relating to organizing, forming, joining or assisting a labor organization for collective bargaining purposes, or from working together to improve terms and conditions of employment, or refraining from any such activity. Similarly, labor organizations may not restrain or coerce employees in the exercise of these rights.

Examples of employer conduct that violates the law:

  • Threatening employees with loss of jobs or benefits if they join or vote for a union or engage in protected concerted activity.
  • Cain made the claim as part of an interview with Tim Wildmon on American Family Radio. The former candidate went on to blame unions for everything but the John F. Kennedy assassination:

    If Governor Walker is recalled, the unions win and Wisconsin loses. I already know businesses in Wisconsin that say if the unions prevail and Governor Walker loses, they are packing up and leaving. We will have the first look at what America will look like if we do not stop this mess ... If the unions win, that means that they don't want balanced budgets, they still want to continue to destroy the state and we will be looking at the first instance, along with California, of what America is going to look like if we don't push back and start to win against some of these forces.

    When I ran Godfather's Pizza, my employees had every right - every right - to unionize if they wanted to. The good news is, because of the kind of work environment we created, they didn't want to unionize. But they had every right to unionize. Now, if they had decided to unionize, I could also decide to fire all of 'em.

    Since no one ever holds conservative commentators accountable for their outlandish claims, it's certain that when Wisconsin rejects Scott Walker and the state doesn't devolve into anarchy, no one will point out that Cain was wrong.


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