That said, 21 to 6 is a very bad sign. The union says it lost because the employer put too much pressure on employees, but the union always says that; this description is notably short of specific allegations of illegal union-busting. The union’s definition of “intense pressure” may include firing people who supported the union, but it tends also to include things such as calling meetings on company time (the union campaign has to meet outside of work) and pointing out that the union cannot guarantee you a raise — or indeed a job. Obviously, unions would rather that employers weren’t allowed to say anything at all, but I’m not sure this really qualifies as “intense pressure.”
Just as a success would have been a major advance for the union, this is a blow. They failed to organize a small group of workers by a wide margin. It’s a good sign of just how difficult a comeback will be for organized labor — and why progressives may need to look elsewhere for a 21st-century labor movement.