Sunday, July 19, 2009

Revised EFCA

I am not a big fan of Sally Field; I like some of her movies but mostly find her a bit cloying, and she drives me nuts in the commercial where she bemoans the horror of having to take a pill every week. Don’t get me started on how often I have to take how many pills. But by the end of the movie Norma Rae I am usually marching around the living room with a union sign.

The New York Times on Friday announced that the Employee Free Choice Act is being revised, and I view that revision as good news; the change allows me to get on board and support that act without reservation. The act was formerly known as the "Card Check" bill; it was that provision that I opposed, and it was that provision that was removed.

Proponents of Card Check insisted that a secret ballot election could still be had if the employees wanted one and chose it, but that was smoke and mirrors. In order to choose a secret ballot election they had to do so in a non-secret process, rejecting an outright installation of union stewardship in the process. That is a process ripe for abuse.

With that provision removed, EFCA provides for correction of much that is wrong with our labor laws today, and I urge Congress to pass it without delay. Right now business has the upper hand and balance needs to be restored. It needs to be restored not in a way that gives equal power to both employer and union, but in a way that to the greatest degree removes the employee from the middle of the battleground.

One way to do that is to shorten the battle, and EFCA seeks to do that, requiring that unionization election campaigns be limited to five or ten days.

To further address labor’s concerns that the election process is tilted in favor of employers, key senators are considering several measures. One would require employers to give union organizers access to company property. Another would bar employers from requiring workers to attend anti-union sessions that labor supporters deride as “captive audience meetings.”

I fully support both measures. Union reps should have full and free access to employer property during that short campaign. Although some restraint against interruption of the business might be reasonable, if the business is disrupted to some degree so be it. Union representation is an important issue.

I’ve heard it said that strengthening unions in a struggling economy is a bad move, one that will further damage the economy. I could not disagree more. Employers’ ability to abuse workers is enhanced in these economic times, and unions are needed more than ever to protect a struggling society.

Pass Revised EFCA.

1 comment:

  1. Arthur7:24 PM

    In Re the last paragraph: exactly, the worse the economy, the higher the unemployment rate, the easier to exploit and abuse workers. Exactly why unions were organized. Exactly why unions are protected by law, at the choice and will of the people.