After CGSU lost the election about unionization at Cornell, Randi Weingarten, the president of the AFT and basically a cancer in human form, is whining because she thinks the election wasn’t fair. In her statement, she says that the AFT is thinking about contesting the result of the election, because according to her Cornell violated the law. Since I’m not a lawyer, I don’t know if that’ true, but in any case, I certainly agree that the election wasn’t fair. The main reason why it wasn’t fair, however, is that as I noted before, the people in charge of CGSU deliberately pushed to organize the election only a few days after they had collected enough signatures to force a vote and refused to have a real debate with the students who opposed unionization, because they knew that a real campaign would only reduce their chances. Yet, despite their efforts to prevent a real campaign from taking place, they lost anyway. Now Weingarten is pissed off because the AFT no doubt invested a lot of resources to help CGSU win, but the fact that it lost means that there won’t be any return on that investment, whereas in the event of a victory the AFT would probably have received something like $1 million/year in dues.
Like I said, I have no idea whether a legal challenge of the result would have any chance of succeeding, but I’m pretty sure that, were another election organized soon, CGSU would lose again. Indeed, as I already noted, the more debate there is about this and the less likely it is that CGSU is going to win. A legal contest of the result would only lead to more debate and, therefore, it would presumably increase the probability that CGSU would lose again. Indeed, my impression is that a lot of graduate students would be pissed off if CGSU pushed to organize another election, because it would only increase the complaints about their tactics, which even several people I know who voted in favor of unionization expressed on many occasions. Which is precisely why I doubt that, in the end, the AFT will actually contest the result. (Another reason is that, in her statement, Weingarten only says that Cornell violated the “spirit” of the law, which suggests the AFT doesn’t even think Cornell actually violated the law.) But if they really want to squander more resources on another campaign that they’re almost certainly going to lose, then by all means, they should do so. The more resources they waste on trying to win a vote they’re going to lose, the less they have to screw up poor students, so they’d be doing everyone a favor.