Well, there’s not much to report in the land of EFCA from the last week. All is rather quiet on the that front since Senators Lincoln and Specter denounced their support of EFCA in its current form. While the business world is taking a big sigh of relief and awaiting the many versions of the compromise bill to be bantered about, Unions have increased their marketing and advertising. In fact, Unions are still acting like they have tremendous support for the bill and that it will pass with no problem. News to them: there has already been a problem with the bill and it will not pass in its current form. Here are a few noteworthy items, though:
Last month the card check process tore the Dana Corporation Auto Parts plant in Albion, Indiana apart after harassment and intimidation from the UAW to get people to sign cards. Here’s a video from some of the intimidated employees:
Mitt Romney chronicles how he vetoed card-check for public employees, but once he left office, his Democrat successor signed it into law. His story is a warning for all card-check supporters.
You may have heard about the Costco/Starbucks/Whole Foods “Third Way” approach to EFCA. Here are its details. A self-described “pro-labor liberal Democrat” attorney from Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliff, an international law firm that represents companies, partnered with those three companies and proposed an EFCA free of card check and other restraints while still “substantially leveling the playing field for union organizers, improve their access to employees, and provide a fair chance to make their case for a union election.” Here are the details of the “Third Way”:
II. Statement of Principles of Reform “Third Way” Legislation:
(1) Secret Ballot. Guarantee the right of management and unions to require a secret ballot under all circumstances.
(2) Certification and Decertification Treated Equally. Permit management to initiate a decertification campaign through a secret ballot election just as employees and unions are presently able to initiate certification and decertification campaigns.
(3) Date Certain for Elections. Guarantee a fixed time period for the secret-ballot election–i.e., do not permit delays of an established day for a secret ballot to certify or decertify a union.
(4) Equal Access to Employees for Campaign Purposes. Level playing field for unions and management to access employees during non-working hours during the campaign period, e.g., permitting each to make presentations to employees at a neutral location concerning the issue of whether to form a union.
(5) Expedited Enforcement and Stricter Penalties. Expedited enforcement for serious and pervasive violations of law by labor and management and stricter penalties for serious and pervasive violations (e.g., unlawful discharges), including the penalty of mandatory injunctions when appropriate.
(6) Preserve Private Collective Bargaining. No mandatory arbitration that dictates contract terms, but stricter penalties and expedited enforcement for violations of good faith bargaining rules, including an expedited timetable to begin bargaining after union certification.
Here’s a couple of snippets from the SEIU’s blog that distorts both the need for EFCA and the role of business. According to the article, “The area’s fractured employment model has turned a recession into a depression. There are now tens of thousands of laid off warehouse workers with no unemployment, no safety net at all, just barely getting by.” No unemployment? Unemployment is run by each state individually and has nothing to do with businesses. The fact that California doesn’t have any money in the unemployment coffers is not a result of businesses. The article continues, “As conditions worsen in the Inland Empire, the big retail companies that created the broken business model have not accepted responsibility for the damage they have done.” How has the employer done this? If employers pay employees substantially more money and tremendously greater benefits like Unions want, companies would run out of money quicker and the employees would be unemployed faster. The article continues, “It is time for Wal-mart, Target, Home Depot, Lowes, and Sear/Kmart to take responsibility for the workers who helped them become so profitable and to treat them with dignity and respect.” Employees at those companies, like the 92.5% of the other companies in this country, choose not to unionize. The SEIU wants us to believe all employees want to be in unions. That’s just plain wrong.
And finally, a little over a month ago, Rasmussen Reports did a survey on how many non-union workers want to join a union. Not surprising, just 9% of those polled said they wanted to be in a union.