Thursday, October 30, 2008

Employee Free Choice Act

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.

6 comments:

John said...

Democrats surely are not very democratic these days. If I'm not mistaken, one of the labor acts acts passed by congress in the 1950's required unions to conduct business according to democratic procedures, including the secret ballot. If this act passes we have yet another example of the erosion of democracy in America. Damn these nut job politicians.

Merle Widmer said...

I dread the next four years even though the Democrats will probably raise my senior benefits since I'm one of those "old" guys he feels empathy for.

Good grief!

dd said...

Now for the facts:

Some 60 million U.S. workers say they would join a union if they could, based on research conducted by Peter D. Hart Research Associates in December 2006. But when workers try to gain a voice on the job by forming a union, employers routinely respond with intimidation, harassment and retaliation.

During union election campaigns, management routinely coerces employees to convince them not to choose union representation. According to a survey of National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) election campaigns in 1998 and 1999 by Cornell University scholar Kate Bronfenbrenner, private-sector employers illegally fire employees for union activity in at least 25 percent of all efforts to join a union.

Employees not fired fear losing their jobs if they support union representation. According to the Bronfenbrenner survey, management forces employees to attend group anti-union presentations in 92 percent of all union campaigns. Brent Garren, senior associate counsel for UNITE HERE, told a House subcommittee this past September that 79 percent of workers agreed workers are “very” or “somewhat” likely to be fired for trying to form a union.

The Employee Free Choice Act would reform the nation’s basic labor laws by requiring employers to recognize a union after a majority of workers sign cards authorizing union representation. It also would provide mediation and arbitration for first-contract disputes and establish stronger penalties for violation of the rights of workers seeking to form unions or negotiate first contracts. The act had bipartisan support of 44 senators and 215 representatives in the 109th Congress, and the AFL-CIO expects even greater support in the 110th Congress.

Democrats are not very democratic? Maybe its because they have had too many elections stolen from them.

Merle Widmer said...

DD,

Management owns the company. Workers are to work with management to help the company and themselves keep the company solvent; therefore able to share profits with the employees in vacation time, sick leave, personal days, 401K's, pension plans of all types, health insurance, unfair disccrimination, abuse of employees such as harrassment by both union and management, earning increasesd; I could go on with lists as to how unions and management work together in well run companies.Poorly run companies ususally go out of business. I would let GM go bust because bad management and militant unions are killing the American auto industry.

It is universal that all workers, stockholder, and management always want more. Unions want to put everybody on the same level. That's called socialism or a egalitarian type of system.

As of Tuesday miday, we are still the most successful capitaistic country in the world.

A union dominated entity doesn't work and won't work in the long run.

I dispute your facts on % of people wanting to unionize when asked. Of course many would say they do for fear that what they said even though in susposedly confidence leaks back to the militants prominent among any sizeable union.

No, I have too much experience in dealing with unions, in both the private and public sector, and have acumulated a vast file on union abuse especially in two unions most prominent in the Peoria community and I do not inculde the UAW, at the present time, or Teamsters.

You oppose secret ballots. This new law which misleadingly includes "freedom" in it's title, totally against the right of voters anywhere on any country. When passed under a totally Democrat controlled national government, it will lead to more outsourcing and eventually less jobs for the union worker with just standard and ordinary skills.

How can you realisticly support an open ballot without supporting open balloting for everything?

The numbers of union workers are shrinking in the private sector and growing in the public sector where Democrats dominate on most public boards. And public boards are proven to be weaker and the union business managers better organized and stronger.

I have never yet met any union worker still doing work after their time is up sithout demanding overtime. Not true in management were many management people make far less than unionized workers.

How can you justify and union worker going on extended break when his drill bit breaks and he has to wait for someone to come and replace it. Think it's not happening and like incidents all over the part of this cdountry dominated by unions? Truck drivers sitting in thier trucks all day to haul one load a short distance because their contractss restricts them from picking uo a broom or a shovel?

Think we could win another WWII with these people? I don't.

Jerry said...

Some always seem to state that unions and union members are always the ones being taken advantage of by employers. I'm union and I've worked in several union shops over the years(but I won't say which union).

I've had shop stewards come up to me and try to get me to lie over something I knew all well about. I've had them try to get me to file a grievence over something that was nothing in violation of the union contract. I've listened to shop stewards tell lies about things that they never even witnessed. I've witnessed union employees diliberately try to make things hard on supervisers simply because they didn't like the boss. I have no respect for some of these people I work with at all. None. And the union backs them up knowing full well what asses they are. I see purpose in unions but some unions are just plain rotten and are worse than then employer.

dd said...

Well, fortunately for the working man, the future is about to change for the better. Four years from now, we will be so much better off that Obama will easily win re-election.