Tuesday, March 10

Employee Free Choice Act or "Card Check"

Today, the Employee Free Choice Act is being introduced in the Senate. This labor-backed bill, also known as “card check”, is designed to make it easier for employees to vote in a union at their workplace.

Let's Look at What We Have Now

Today, the system for forming unions allows employees to vote by secret ballot whether or not a union should be organized within their company. This method allows privacy for employees to make their own choices without outside influences or potential consequences.

The right to a private ballot is fundamental to the American democratic system. Under existing law, a private ballot election is guaranteed and administered by the National Labor Relations Board. This proven method prevents workers from being vulnerable to misinformation, intimidation and coercion by union advocates or company management.

What's Card Check?

Proposed card check legislation replaces secret ballots with a signature drive. If 50 percent of a company's workers sign individual authorization cards that waive the employee right to a secret ballot, collective bargaining automatically begins between employers and union officials.

Employee signatures can be collected and organized by anyone, anywhere. Card check opens a company's break room for unions to use while wrangling employee signatures. Company parking lots would serve as a place for union expansion.

Binding Arbitration

Card check contains a provision that mandates compulsory, binding arbitration on the employer and the employees as part of the collective bargaining process. This would require a third party - a government official - making labor contract decisions that are binding upon both parties. This would mean that the business owner would have no real voice in his own business nor would the now unionized employees be provided with the opportunity to vote on their new contract.

Why does Labor Want Card Check

First, to add due-paying members. Union membership has decreased steadily since their heyday in the 1950s when nearly 35% of the American workforce belonged to a union, compared with 7.5% today. Indeed, even as the economy added more than 9.5 million jobs between 1999 and 2006, unions lost more than 1 million members.

Secondly, according to Forbes Magazine, there has been a major shift in the mentality of the modern-day labor movement, which now regards political advocacy as its main role rather than workplace representation. With card check, however, Big Labor will get more money and added flexibility to pursue its political agenda.

In A Nut Shell

Andy Stern, the head of the SEIU, says the simpler procedure is needed to keep companies from intimidating workers who try to unionize.

Glenn Spencer, who heads the Workforce Freedom Initiative, argues that the loss of a secret ballot will simply allow labor organizers to coerce their co-workers into joining a union whether they want one or not.

If Card Check Passes

You can expect organized labor to target small businesses, hospitals, and hotels who are already struggling under this economy. They also have their sights set on big box companies like Wal-Mart and Home Depot. The unionization of those companies would put many small businesses out of business and drive prices higher for the ones who are still standing.

My Two Cents

It's an all around bad idea...just look at the auto makers.


happyathome said...

Unions had thier place in one point in time, now I just cannot see a need for them. This just makes it even more obvious, thanks for pointing it out.


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