Corey Robin always tickles my brain and encourages me to stay the course.

Corey Robin

Gawker recently obtained the audiotape of a captive audience meeting at a firm in Georgia where truckers are trying to organize a union. Anti-union employers often hold these mandatory meetings, where they subject employees to extended lectures on the evils and ills of unionization.

As captive audience meetings go, this one is relatively benign. The workers speak up, some voice tentative pro-union sympathy, there’s a back and forth, there’s little intimidation, not even of the more informal or implicit variety. That’s often not the case.

Even so, the tape has some creepy moments that reveal the paternalism of management’s opposition to unions and its treatment of workers more generally.

Early in the tape, a manager tells the workers:

We have the right to educate you and we’re going to exercise that right.

Set aside the assumption that management is a wise teacher; the worker, an ignorant student.

There’s a…

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