9/4/08

Feds may protect workers' rights

More EFCA stories: here

Will Bush Administration act to defend the secret-ballot?

Sure, the "privatize everything" crowd talks a good mediocre game, but when it comes action, their devotion to free market ideology is less than devout. Given a choice between letting management come to a compromise with workers on the rules of unionizing and having the federal government impose organizing rules that ostensibly favor business, there's no contest.
The Bush administration is weighing an executive order that would eliminate a union-preferred method of labor organizing at large government contractors, according to people familiar with the situation.

Labor leaders prefer a card-check system in which workers can form a union if a majority of them sign a union-authorization card. Companies generally prefer a secret-ballot election.

[...]

The executive order would require large government contractors to use secret-ballot elections for union organizing or risk losing government contracts, say people familiar with the order. Though companies typically prefer secret ballots, some are willing to accept card checks to avoid a fight.
Simmering in Congress, the Employee Free Choice Act, would allow unions to form over a period of time (months) rather than only through a secret-ballot election. As it turns out, ballot elections allow companies to more effectively defeat unionization drives. So, it's no wonder that corporations would be against mechanisms that ease organization. Currently, management can allow a card-check drive if they see fit to do so.

Here, however, the Bush Administration is considering implementing a rule that would prevent federal contractors from striking this sort of deal with its employees. So, when the free-market crew moans about the oppressive headlock of the domineering federal government, they're really just upset that it isn't intervening in the market for their benefit.

(ombwatch.org)

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