What a misnomer. Barack Obama is a supporter of this act. Let's see what's "free".
This act, when passed by a total Democrat administration and Congress, would eliminate the secret ballot in union organizing elections. Unions would be certified to negotiate pay, benefits and work rules simply by collecting signed "union authorization cards" from a majority of employees at a work site.
Under current law, union organizers and management both have the opportunity to present the pros and cons of forming a union. A SECRET vote is then held. Under Obama's proposal, unions would be the SOLE provider of of information to the employee, and the workers decision whether to organize would no longer be PRIVATE.
Unions say current law favors management, which can stall to a point where workers lose interest in organizing. But the median number of days between filing a petition with the NLRB and holding an election has actually fallen over the past two decades. In 2007, more than 1500 such elections were held, and unions won 54% of them, the same win rate of the early 1970's.
Another labor friendly provision of the EFCA is mandatory arbitration. Under current law, labor and management are required to bargain in good faith but aren't obligated to reach an agreement. Under Obama proposal, if the parties can't settle on a contract within 120 days, the dispute goes to an arbitration panel that can impose a contract that is binding for two years.
Obama also supports legislation to reverse the NLRB's "Kentucky River" ruling last year, which fleshed out the definition of a supervisor for the purpose of organizing. Union usually prefer a narrow definition of management, because it increases the number of people potentially under their control. Conversely, labor has worked to expand the definition of "employee" to include everyone from temp workers to graduate student assistants.
This bill, supported by Obama wants to bar companies from replacing striking worker--a right that management has held for 70 years. Unions made a similar push in the early 1990's and a bill was passed in the House but was blocked in the Senate. President Clinton issued an executive order that would have ended the provision for federal contractors. It was stuck down in federal court. Clinton then tried to get the NLRB to make it more difficult to replace striking workers, The courts overturned that too. Obama says he will "work to ban the provision," but hasn't provided specifics.
Obama also supports the Public Safety-Employer Cooperation Act that would force state and local governments to recognize union leaders as the exclusive bargaining agent for police, firefighters and other first responders. More than half the states would have to change their laws. Thousands of public safety officers would no longer be able to negotiate with their employers on their own behalf.
Obama also want to raise the minimum wage to $7.25 next year and $9.50 per hour by 2011, and index it for inflation. Obama says further increases are necessary so that "full-time" workers earn a living wage. Census data shows that less than 1% or workers over 25 are earning the minimum. And rather than family heads or full-time worker, they tend to be young single adults, teenagers living at home or spouses providing a second income.
John McCain has not made labor issues a major part of his campaign, but he opposes the the Employee Free Trade Act and the Public Safety Employer-Employee Cooperation Act. He has also gone on the record in support of national-right-to-work legislation that would repeal all current federal Law the authorize the firing of employees for refusing to join or pay dues to a union. 22 states currently have right-to-work laws, which Obama opposes.
I was asked recently why I thought Obama was a Socialist. Look at what he supports the worst for me is the unions right to ban secret ballots. At the rate we are sliding into a Socialist state, expect that within the next 8 years, secret balloting will be banned for all voters and all people will be forced to vote where those in charge can see who you are voting for.
No wonder business's are almost terrified over what they see in the future and Obama's hatred for big business except for the one's that are supporting him financially. Democrats in California recently passed a law to help Mrs. Peolsi's multi-millionaire husband avoid paying minimum wage by exempting his business.
Much of this information is digested from an article by Jason L. Riley in the WSJ, on 10/27/08. I have considerable files to back up his statements.