Fighting Union Busters in a Carolina Carpet Mill: An Organizer’s Memoir
In 2017, Workers United/SEIU called veteran organizer Phil Cohen out of retirement to investigate and expose a union-busting plot by Mohawk Industries at a North Carolina carpet mill. His hard-hitting account chronicles the resulting labor dispute that rocked a Fortune 500 company. The organizer had to prove management was behind an illegal decertification petition and forced workers to sign using strong-arm tactics. Though terrified of retaliation, witnesses gradually agreed to testify before federal agents. Mohawk retained a high-powered union-busting attorney who appealed directly to ultra-conservative heads of the National Labor Relations Board, while Right to Work Committee lawyers framed the issue as a test case to revoke laws protecting employee rights. The union’s only hope rested on presenting evidence too formidable for political bias to surmount. This memoir, infused with dry wit and insights into human nature, blows the lid off the nation’s union-busting epidemic, thrusting readers into the tumultuous environment of a union hall in crisis.