12/31/07

Proposal helps unions, harms workers

Larry Matheney, secretary/treasurer of the West Virginia AFL-CIO, relates that employees are being unfairly treated by the NLRB and by employers (Dec. 20). He says employees are not being allowed to join unions and that the proposed National Employee Free Choice Act is the answer to these perceived ills.

In reality, unions win 55 percent of elections conducted by the National Labor Relations Board. This is about the same win unions have had over the past 30 years under both Democratic and Republican administrations.

In the past 30 years, unions have gone from representing 33 percent of the work force to 8 percent of nongovernment workers. This has been a steady decline in both Democratic and Republican administrations. This is due to union leaders being more interested in impressing political leaders than in representing their members.

The Employee Free Choice Act is not for employees. It is for unions, period. Under that proposed act, unions can get employees signed up on union cards, even in a pizza parlor after three beers, before three or four other pushy union officials. The union presents 51 percent of the employees’ cards to the employer, who is obligated to recognize and bargain with the union for 90 days. If no agreement is reached, there is a 30-day mediation period. If no agreement is reached then, the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service appoints an arbitrator who writes the contract.

The employer and the employees are stuck with this. There is no secret ballot election, no employee vote on the contract and no backing out of the union, if employees find out that they were lied to. The union gets everyone in the union, dues check off and strict seniority, which is all the union wants in the first place.

There is certainly no employee free choice in the mix.

- Fred F. Holroyd

(wvgazette.com)

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