8/15/08

EFCA debate raises monopoly bargaining issue

Related story: "Respected Democrat rips EFCA"

Why shouldn't unions compete for workers?

I agree with George McGovern that the proposed "card-check" legislation is an open invitation to abuse and ought to be opposed by congressional Democrats ("My Party Should Respect Secret Union Ballots," op-ed, Aug. 8). I would suggest that he think through our whole approach to labor relations law. Current law is an authoritarian assault on the liberty of workers who do not want union representation at all.

The National Labor Relations Act makes a certified union the exclusive representative of all the workers. Those who think that the union costs too much, fails to represent their workplace interests, or engages in political activities they don't support must nevertheless accept its dominion over them. The Right to Work laws of 23 (sic) states permit disaffected workers to stop paying dues without being fired, but that is only a second-best remedy.

There is no reason why labor unions must be given monopoly status. Both Democrats and Republicans ought to support reform of the law so that individuals are free to join or quit unions, just as they are free to join or quit churches, clubs, or any other organization.

If unions are beneficial, they will survive without coercing workers who prefer independence.

George C. Leef, Raleigh, N.C.

(online.wsj.com)

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