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Villanova University School of Law




More than a decade after the publication of Law and Reality, the debate continues over the proper scope of election campaign regulation under the National Labor Relations Act (the "Act"). The issue has been whether employer efforts to dissuade employees from electing a union to represent them in collective bargaining actually influence the outcomes of elections. Several academic lawyers and social scientists have criticized one aspect or another of the Getman, Goldberg and Herman results (hereinafter the "Getman Study"), suggesting that many employer tactics have no effect on election outcomes, and that such tactics should not be regulated by the National Labor Relations Board (the Board). However, in spite of all the attention given to election campaign regulation, there is one question that has gone relatively unexamined: what should we expect the results of employer deterrence efforts to be? More specifically, which of the many strategies an employer may adopt in order to dissuade employees from electing a union should concern us most, in the sense that they have a strong chance of actually deterring unionism in areas where it may be socially desirable? This is the question we address in this paper.

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