11/19/08

Union secret-ballot news - Nov. 19

Bookmark Secret-Ballot News posts: herecard-check: hereEFCA: here

Stories-of-the-day concerning Organized Labor's #1 priority.






Progs herald end to Era of Prosperity ... Arguments against card check often focus on fairness: By taking away the option of a secret-ballot election, card check would make it easier for union bosses to intimidate workers into acquiescence. But consider, also, the impact of further unionization on businesses: Costs would skyrocket, profits would tank, and bankruptcies and job destruction would follow. (aei.org)

Collectivist Congress terrifies U.S. employers ... “It’s not frightening, it’s terrifying,” Grigsby says. “The [incoming] administration has no appreciation of small businesses in America. They have been elected by special-interest groups which are contrary to small businesses.” Namely, unions. (businessreport.com)

Full Employment Act for union organizers ... This “card check” process leaves employees at the mercy of union organizers who, working singly and in groups, track down employees at work and in their homes. Experience shows they often subject employees to misrepresentations, which escalate to peer pressure and then to intimidation, until the employee finally relents and signs a union “authorization card.” So under EFCA the union (“candidate”) can solicit and collect the signatures (“votes”) by pretty much whatever means it deems necessary, and then declare itself the victor – exactly the type of “election” regime one would associate with a totalitarian state. (pbn.com)

'Card-check' elections exposed as defective farce ... Sure, employers have certain advantages that flow from having control of the workplace. But these are offset by significant procedural advantages enjoyed by unions that any presidential candidate would love to have. (corner.nationalreview.com)

Federal bailout for organized labor looms ... "It takes the government agency and the employer out of the equation, allows the union on its own time without knowledge of the employer to get cards from 50% plus one of the employees at which time then the union's in place," Carr says. He says it's like this. "If you look at the Presidential Election, it would be as if John McCain was invited to every debate alone. John McCain was allowed to put his website up and John McCain was allowed to speak to the American people and Barack Obama wasn't." (wvmetronews.com)

Congressional specialty: False choice ... Tim Miller, a spokesman for the Employee Freedom Action Committee, which opposes the law, countered that, in practice, there aren't really two options. Every union organizer would choose not to hold an election, Miller argued, since the employer would have to recognize the union at the 51 percent mark anyway. He compared a union organizer opting for a secret ballot election (under the proposed law) to a politician calling for a revote after he has already won. (lostintransition.nationaljournal.com)

Congress to set unionization surge ... Both sides agree that EFCA probably will pass in some form in 2009 now that Democrats have strengthened their majorities in Congress and won the White House. “What employers have to realize now is there will be a version of EFCA,” said Tim Davis, managing partner of the Kansas City office of employment law firm Constangy Brooks & Smith LLP. “If they are not prepared in advance, unionization is going to grow significantly in the United States.” (kansascity.bizjournals.com)

A Congressional agenda for joblessness ... There is substantial room for compromise with regard to EFCA's most controversial provisions. There may yet be a chance that a secret ballot will be preserved -- what democratic administration wants to be recalled as one that abolished a secret ballot election? -- if the lengthy time period between the filing of a petition and scheduling an election can be shortened. The onerous treble damages provisions of EFCA may well be a focus of compromise, as would likely be the provisions for binding "interest arbitration," which would be an extraordinary and troubling change to existing law. (law.com)

Congress to fix U.S. job market for union bigs ... In accepting the endorsement of the SEIU, President Obama vowed to pass the EFCA, stating: "We will pass the Employee Free Choice Act. We may have to wait for the next president to sign it, but we will get this thing done." Before rushing to abandon secret-ballot elections and impose collective-bargaining agreements through arbitration, the experience of our next-door neighbor, Canada, should be examined. EFCA-like legislation was present in nine of 10 Canadian provinces until the late 1980s. Since then, there has been a steady trend toward secret-ballot elections. (hreonline.com)

Obama zeroes in on secret-ballot ... If the bill is enacted, it will be the end of free choice about whether workers want to join unions. If the bill is approved in the Senate, it will mean the end of an important freedom - that of using the secret ballot on an issue of major importance to workers. (minotdailynews.com)

House Majority Leader on EFCA ... HOYER: The Employee Free Choice Act is high up on our agenda. We passed it early in the last session. It languished in the Senate. We believe very strongly that employees have not only the right to organize and bargain collectively for pay and benefits and working conditions, but that our economy is better off when that happens. We also believe that it’s been very difficult for employees to get elections. There have been great delays, not enforcement of -- by the NLRB of --- against unfair labor practices. So we -- that’s an agenda high up on our -- that is an item high up on our agenda. And we will be giving attention early on. Will we discuss with others their views, including Republicans and the administration, their views on that? The answer is yes; we will be discussing that. And there are obviously various different views on that issue, but we intend to pursue it. (cqpolitics.com)

Related video: "Employee Forced Choice Act"

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