Friday, January 23, 2009

Employee Free Choice Act

It has been a long time since the days when a Union performed the task of protecting the workers. The proposals by the 110th Congress of S.1041 and H.R.800, better known as the Employee Free Choice Act, are indicative of the Unions interest in their own power over the rights and interests of their employees. There was a time when one could argue the need for Unions to protect the worker to some extent, but no longer. With the advances in education and technology currently available to the American workforce, it is absurd to contend that people are trapped in jobs with unfair or unsafe working conditions. Anyone is free to get an education and a better job if they are unable to negotiate a better work environment with their current employer. There are sufficient laws in place to protect employee rights, including the right to organize in a Union.
The Employee Free Choice Act, like all bills that have such beneficent sounding names, is an attack on the rights of the individual. The intent of the bill is not to increase employee protection in the workplace, but to give more power over the company to the Union. By eliminating the privacy of employees when casting a ballot, through card check, the Union is given power to intimidate employees who choose not to join. This helps the Union, not the employees of the company.
All provisions called for under the EFCA regarding employees’ rights to organize are already provided by existing law. What the Unions are hoping no one will notice is that the new bill does three things:
1. It eliminates the secret ballot
2. It gives the Union the leverage of direct government intervention (in addition to that already in place) if their terms are not met to their satisfaction
3. It eliminates the rights of the minority of workers who choose not to join the Union by forcing Union demands upon the company without benefit of contracts
The opinion of the majority should not eliminate the rights of the minority. That is why the United States is a Constitutional Republic. All of its citizens maintain their rights under a rule of law and a government answerable to a system of checks and balances. To allow the loudest or strongest among us to take advantage of the power of government to bully the individual, we pave the way to anarchy and the destruction of the principles of the Founding Fathers.
An employer should not be forced to follow rules that are detrimental to the operation of their company, simply because a majority of employees feel disenfranchised. Those employees are free to find better jobs at any time. The job belongs to the employer, not the employee. Running a company out of business by imposing demands that are impossible to meet and unfair to employees who are content with their jobs only accomplishes the end of making everyone there unemployed. That doesn’t seem in the best interest of the worker to me.

*Because this article is my opinion I am giving the following references as documentation in support of my point. A simple Google search gives all sources available. However, please not that the Union sites and many of the sites giving summaries of the bills do not give the full text of the bill and are therefore misleading. I recommend reading the bills in full to eliminate any confusion on the issue.

Excerpt:
The automakers also suffered from the UAW's ability to kill the company at any time via a work stoppage. Management caved in to demands it had to know it had no hope of ever being able to meet absent a cartel position restricting foreign competition. I love the UAW members complaining that they were promised these retirement benefits. Yes, they were, and the promise came under their threat of beating up people who broke the picket line to keep the company in business while they striked -- a promise given under threat of violence. The best managers aren't going to be drawn to that sort of environment. The anti-trust laws made GM avoid making cars that were TOO good because then it would gain too much market share and come under scrutiny. And later, they relied on tariffs to protect them from foreign competition since domestic competition (as in fundamentally changing the way things were done) was squelched.
Full Article:
Too Big to Fail and the Problem of Bigness Thursday, January 1, 2009, 2:51 pm, by joconnor

Excerpt:
The Employee "Free Choice" Act takes away a worker's fundamental right to a private ballot in union organizing elections. Big union bosses would bypass free and fair union elections supervised by the National Labor Relations Board for a "card check" system where they could intimidate and coerce workers to sign cards authorizing the formation of a union. Under this bill, once the union has obtained a mere majority of workers signing authorization cards, a union is immediately recognized with no further discussion or debate and no secret ballot election. In contrast to a private ballot election, a card check system allows the union and employer alike to see where you stood.
The private ballot is the cornerstone of American democracy. Only when a vote is private -- free of the intimidation or coercion that open public "voting" would invite -- can the people's voice truly be heard.
The Employee "Free" Choice Act would rip apart a sacred American right in favor of an unfair and coercive card check process. That's why EFCA should really be called the Employee Forced Choice Act.
The danger of the Employee Forced Choice Act extends well beyond a denial of workers' democratic rights. EFCA would dramatically change the nature of the American workplace, inserting Washington bureaucrats into the most basic decisions about your job or your business.
Full Article:
Exposing EFCA, from the Workforce Fairness Institute


Information and fliers for distribution

Definitions of EFCA: http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=s110-1041&tab=summary
http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=h110-800&tab=summary
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Employee_Free_Choice_Act


Definition of Card Check:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Card_check

2 comments:

~Zurama~ said...

An award in waiting for you on "Sunrise in Havana". You may drop by and take it with you, when you wish.

Congratulations! :)

Mahndisa S. Rigmaiden said...

01 28 09

With the advances in education and technology currently available to the American workforce, it is absurd to contend that people are trapped in jobs with unfair or unsafe working conditions.

Oh? Apparently you ain't never lived or worked in Modesto, Ceres, Denair or Turlock. Workplace abuses are the norm in the Central Valley and I say that from experience. This is a very anti union place and when I used to work at MCI in Riverbank (before it got shut down) people were fired for made up offenses if they even tried to start a union on their own time.

I later found out that this was an illegal practice. But how can a lowly worker go against the beast in that situation? A union would have helped us out. I don't mean the coercive take your money whether you want them to or not type union, I mean a true advocate for employees in a difficult work environment.

Don't believe me? Come to my town and ask people about their jobs and their work environment. Overwhelmingly you will be stunned. Not everyone in the professional world acts fairly or rationally. Even if there weren't unions, a third party non profit organization to listen to greviences would be nice.