A lot of the discussion throughout the country last week was whether the Employee Free Choice Act would be passed in Obama’s first 100 days and in what form will it pass.
Will EFCA Pass in Obama’s First 100 Days?
An editor of the International Socialist Review opines that Democrats are moving toward delaying the introduction of EFCA.
Congressional leaders have indicated that passage of the Employee Free Choice Act is not their first priority.
Business leaders took great comfort when Obama told The Washington Post last week that he was wary of pressing for the union measure ahead of broader economic needs.
Despite Obama’s comment about putting EFCA on the backburner, a variety of administration and labor sources all indicated that there is no reason to believe that the Obama administration and the Democratic Congress aren’t proceeding along the expected track.
Harry Reid said he would like the Senate to take up EFCA this summer.
Rep. George Miller, chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives labor committee told Reuters in an interview as the 111th Congress got underway that “there are things that may be more urgent because of circumstances beyond our control. That doesn’t diminish the urgency I feel or the supporters of the Employee Free Choice Act feel…I am quite comfortable that EFCA is going to receive timely treatment.
Will EFCA be Modified to Ensure it Passes?
CNN Money reminds us that EFCA is about power, but a former AFL-CIO organizing director and former president and vice chairman of Bethlehem Steel and general counsel for the Labor Department during the Nixon and Ford administrations may have reached a compromise on what the legislation should look like.
A former Governor of Virginia and one of the state’s most powerful Democrats finds the secret ballot part of EFCA troubling.
Because many believe that EFCA would easily pass the House but falls a vote or two shy of certain passage in the Senate, a compromise, like retaining secret ballots but speeding up various time limits or altering other provisions in ways that would still aid unionization drives, is likely.
Other Articles Regarding EFCA
Is card check certification Obama’s Hiliary Care? In other words, President Clinton was seen to overreach in his first two years by pursuing initiatives such as Hilary Care, nationalized health care, and the voters severely punished the Democrats in the 1994 midterm elections by handing control of the Senate and House of Representatives to the Republicans for the first time since 1954.
Despite currently supporting EFCA, in 2007, the Obama nominee for Labor Secretary, Rep. Hilda Solis (D-CA), protested that a secret ballot should be used by the Congressional Hispanic Caucus to pick its new chairman. Likewise, in 1998, the AFL-CIO, UAW, and others told the NLRB that secret ballots were essential when workers decide whether to decertify a union saying, “Other mean of decision-making are not comparable to the privacy and indepedence of the voting booth,” and that secret ballots provide the best way to avoid “the result of group pressures and not individual decision.”
Mike Eastman, executive director of labor policy for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Washington says that EFCA has a better chance of being defeated rather than passed, since so many businesses are lobbying against it. Although refreshing to hear, Mr. Eastman is in the extreme minority of people with this belief.
The U.S. Chamber is switching its strategy in fighting EFCA from highlighting how the bill eliminates secret ballots to focusing on the binding arbitration aspect of the bill.
The Montana Chamber of Commerce reminds us that the bill is ironically called the Employee Free Choice Act but is far from being pro-worker.
Remember the group Save Our Secret Ballot – the group of states that are trying to change their constitutions as a way around EFCA? That group is “fairly confident” that state constitutional amendments “would hold up” under federal court challenges says former South Dakota Attorney General Mark Meierhenry.
The Coalition for a Democratic Workplace, a federation of 500 business groups, are actively campaigning against EFCA.
National Right to Work Foundation launced an online petition to Obama advising him that his election did not give him a mandate to impose draconian policies that will dramatically increase the power and money of the Big Labor Bosses and would like everyone who is against EFCA to sign a petition. The petition can be found here.
This brief letter to the editor succinctly reminds us how the current NLRA achieves its purpose of unionizing workforces, since unions win 60% of elections with secret ballots.
Small business owners typically think they won’t have to contend with union organizers in the workplace because it’s not worth the union’s time to mount a month-or year-long campaign to represent a handful of office workers. Wrong!
This small business owner from Raleigh, North Carolina is deeply concerned about EFCA’s ramifications.
This is one of those articles that anger me. The Employee Free Choice Act would not have saved Circuit City. Circuit City did not put profits over people – it went bankrupt because it didn’t have any profits. And the spirit of the collective bargaining process does not bind workers and management together as partners. It pits them against each other and creates an “us v. them” mentality.
Chris Fisher, Executive Director of Associated Builders and Contractors of Michigan reminds us of the dangers associated with union pension and health-care funds because they are oftentimes underfunded.
Jerry Warlow couldn’t have said it any better. “The union’s push for this bill is not driven by unfairness of a traditional secret ballot or widespread injustices. It is because union ranks are shrinking dramatically. The United Auto Workers at its peak had 1.5 million members. Today it has just more than 450,000. What is really important to today’s unions? Union dues.” After being around unions for years and negotiating many contracts against many different unions, Mr. Warlow hit the nail on the head.
Appropriate for Super Bowl week: Isn’t EFCA just a “hail mary” for unions to get back into the game?