11/21/08

Unions organize against capitalism

Related video: "Employee Forced Choice Act"
More EFCA stories: herecard-check: here

Obama's Secret Ballot Elimination Act

Living in Detroit during the 1940s, '50s and '60s, you were well aware of Walter Reuther; he was the president of the United Auto Workers union. We also knew about George Meany, first president of the AFL-CIO.

The Democratic party catered to UAW and AFL-CIO, demands so campaign donations and get-out-the-vote efforts would continue to assist Democrats.

Reuther's belief was that labor not only had the right to organize, but labor had the duty to organize against the forces of capitalism whether labor wanted organization or not. Meany had the same perspective. Big labor supported Democrats; big labor expected reciprocity for its support.

Today, I'm sure Reuther, Meany and Jimmy Hoffa Sr. of the Teamsters would give 100 percent support to the Democratic party-proposed Employee Free Choice Act or, as some call it, the Secret Ballot Elimination Act. It guarantees new sources of lucrative union dues for the union big shots.

Related video: "Employee Forced Choice Act"


Instead of having National Labor Relations Board-supervised democratic elections on a specific day, the labor unions could gain control of a company's production through a process known as "card check."

Employees could openly be pressured by organizers and union-oriented coworkers over time to join a union by signing undated union cards. Union control under the law would be imposed - not through secret ballot, but through social intimidation and/or threats of physical intimidation.

Reuther was a socialist. His political philosophy and work experiences impacted his view of capital and labor as an adversarial relationship.

After being laid off by Ford Motor Co., he and his brothers eventually ended up in the Soviet Union and worked at the Gorky (USSR) automobile plant between 1933-35. Upon his return to Detroit in 1935, he became an aggressive union organizer for UAW. Reuther and the UAW worked hard to expand the unionization of the auto industry in the late 1930s.

Eventually, no open (nonunion) shops were tolerated and support workers who unloaded trucks, stocked parts in warehouses, moved parts and material to the assembly line and maintained the line equipment were UAW.

The various unions refused to cross into another union's work responsibility or cross picket lines unless the union shop stewards agreed pursuant to their respective contracts, and those grievances were negotiated with management.

Efficient nonunion suppliers were eventually forced to unionize. Capitalists might own the facilities, the tooling, the hardware, but the union labor controlled production and production support.

Nothing much has changed since the 1930s, except those union contracts are now grinding American auto companies into the dirt. The UAW and the companies are asking for government assistance.

Sorry, bankruptcy does serve a purpose. File for bankruptcy and renegotiate those UAW contracts.

If the Employee Free Choice Act becomes law, we will see the rise of forced unionization that will further erode our nation's productivity. Even businesses in "right to work" states will experience the impact of this legislation. Union contract work rules and union jurisdictional issues will impede the free flow of communication and create artificial barriers between labor and management.

This will have an economic cost.

- Mark D. Walker of Aberdeen, is a former certified purchasing manager with the Institute of Supply Management and retired from Northrup Grumman Corporation B-2 Stealth Bomber Program.

(aberdeennews.com)

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