Tuesdays are EFCA Update Days

We’ll start off today’s EFCAUpdate with a video where Stern, President of the SEIU, says that his union has saved millions of dollars to unelectDemocrats who did not live up with their promise to vote in favor of the Employee Free Choice Act.


When will EFCA be introduced is anyone’s guess, although most agree it will be sometime in 2009.  Obama and Biden think it will be on hold until the fall, and it looks like Obama’s pro-labor executive orderswere an overt act to pacify the unions for several months.  In fact, Biden believes it will be done “This year.  This year we hope.  Our expectation is this year, this calendar year.”  Thank you for your clarity, VP Biden.  House Majority Leader Hoyer (D-MD) says House action won’t start until Spring or Summer.  Senate Majority Reid (D-NV) said that that Senate won’t see it until the Summer.  Here’s a video of Biden discussing EFCA.


The Coalition for a Democratic Workplaceconducted a straight forward, two-question survey to determine support levels for EFCA.  The Ohio Employers Law Blog did a great recap of the results indicating that most people do not want EFCA.  Click here to see those results.

Obamatapped New Hampshire Republican Senator Gregg to head the Department of Commerce, which meant his Senate seat needed filled.  We’ve all learned about filling a Senate seat: Blago, anyone?  So, it became a foregone conclusion that Gregg’s seat would be filled by a Democrat, since New Hampshire’s Governor is a Democrat.  Filling Gregg’s seat with a Democrat would put the Dems at the supermajority number of 60 Senators where filibustering legislation (the Republican Senators’ defense to EFCA last time) would be impossible.  Not so fast!  Gregg made sure that his seat would be filled with a Republican before accepting the position with the Dept. of Commerce.  So now, Bonnie Newman – someone who has never held elected office and does not have any official positions on any major issues, i.e. Employee Free Choice Act – will fill Gregg’s seat and presumably vote against EFCA.  Remember, though, even with 59 Republican Senators, EFCA will likely pass since Arlen Spector (R-PA) voted in favor of it last time.

I laughed when I read that the AFL-CIO’s new video (narrated by the executive VP of the union) was intended to “cut through the deceptive campaign and give the facts about the Employee Free Choice Act.”  The video has a cameo spot, too, from the executive director of the union-fronted organization American Rights at Work to “cut through the spin” of corporate America.  This video is supposedly being featured at union meetings and around the country – why are they showing union members how “the system for forming unions is broken.”  Seems like members of unions, who already went through the system be become unionized, wouldn’t necessarily think that the system was broken.  Here’s the video:


On the anniversary of the last EFCAattempt, unions symbolically held a rally in Washington D.C. and supposedly brought with them 1.5 million signatures of people who supported the Employee Free Choice Act.  Also present was Rep. George Miller (D-CA) who co-sponsored the last bill and said: “decisions aboutthe workplace belong to the worker.”  Excuse me?  What aboutthe owner?  What aboutthe person who lives, breathes, and sleeps the business; the person who mortgaged his house to start the company; the person who risks to lose everything when the market dried up, a catastrophic injury occurs, malicious Internet press abouthis company surfaces?  Since when should the workers be the ones to make the decisions about someone else’s company, Representative Miller?

Interestingly, 1 million signatures would represent 1/16 of the current total unionized workforce in America.  Conversely, EFCA threatens the right to a secret ballot for 105 million Americans – well beyond the 69 million who voted in the last presidential election.  If the unions could only drum up enough interest from 1 out of every 16 of their own members to sign a petition, I hardly think that EFCA is something that the public at large is interested in seeing passed in Congress.  And I wonder how many of those signatures are from people who do not belong to unions.  No one has (or likely will ever) challenge the purported number of signatures to make sure they are legitimate.  In all, this is just a bunch of propaganda, an advertisement that will not be scrutinized, by 6% of the unionized workforce wanting us to believe that they represent the 105 million people currently working in America.

The AFL-CIO uses some “real life examples” of why employees need unions.  One of them is Theresa Gares who says, “Once [her company] found out we were trying to organize a union, they started having meetings.  They’re trying to talk people out of it, discourage them.  This is what we’re fighting for: We’re fighting for fairness in the workplace, a voice in the workplace, things that we deserve.”  Are you kidding me?  Ms. Gares is the union’s marquee spokesperson and all she has to say is the company “started having meetings.”  And this is the intimidation that unions claim is happening and why employees need EFCA?

LaborPains.org is always good for an entry here each week, and this week doesn’t let us down, either when highlighting who is against EFCA.  Some of the more notable names include: 

  • George McGovern, former senator from South Dakota and the 1972 Democratic presidential candidate
  • Rev. Al Sharton, American Baptist minister, political and civil rights/social justice activist, and radio talk show host
  • Richard Epstein, professor of Law at the University of Chicago who says, “There is simply no legitimate government interest in promoting unionization that justifies a clandestine organizing campaign which denies all speech rights to the union’ adversaries.”
  • Ariella Bernstein, former deputy director of public affairs at FMCS and a field examiner and supervisor at the NLRB who says, “I am a Democrat who has worked at both the National Labor Relations Board and the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, two agencies that figure prominently in this legislation [Employee Free Choice Act].”

Fox Rothschild’s Employment blog out of Philadelphia set the record straight about the elimination of secret ballots when it said: “The reality is that once Unions are given the option of having the NLRB certify a union immediately upon presentation of at least a majority of union authorization cards signed by a specific unit of employees versus waiting some 40 days, whereby employees become educated during this period, and then having a secret ballot election, Unions ar going to avoid, at all cost, the election route.  I mean, why do you think the Unions’ have placed so much money, time, and effort in seeing that the EFCA passes?  is it because the EFCAcalls for mandatory injunctions?  I think not.  How about the mandatory contract arbitration?  Yeah, could be, but without a certification, there can be no representative or contract for that matter.  So, there is no “misinformation” being spread – just realty, which is that once a “card-check” certification is in place, the secret ballot election may die.”

This former “rank and file” employee enlightens people as to what it’s like to work a union job when he says: “As a young man I was forced to join a union when I was working in a job I dearly loved.  Even with the secret ballot in place, the intimidation by the union and the sycophantsworking with them was tremendous.  Almost immediately upon the union being voted in, the productivity of our work dropped precipitously.  People I had known for years cut the pace of their work activities by 25 to 33%.  I was told in no uncertain terms that I needed to slow down – that I worked too hard and too fast.  After a year of this, I resigned my position without a job.  I was ashamed of what was happening to a company I loved.  The owners of this very large business in my home town gave up as well just a few years later and sold the business.”  He went on to discuss the difference of productivity in right to work states, “I once met a gentleman here in Jacksonville that owned a unionized plan in the north and a non-unionized plant in the south and in his words the difference in productivity was start.  He eventually moved all the work to the south and closed the other plant.”


Tuesdays are EFCA Update Days

ALF-CIO alleges that bailout recipients AIG and Bank of America were involved in a conference call for lobbyists and corporations to discuss raising funds to defeat EFCA.  From that, the union is alleging that bailout money was used to plot against Employee Free Choice.

American Rights at Work launched the below television commercial called “The Secret Big Business Doesn’t Want You to Know.”


The SEIU’s plan to shorten recover from this down economy is a shortened workweek and less productivity from employees.  Accordingly, an employer who currently offers no paid vacation can offer 3 weeks of paid vacation, approximately a 6%  reduction in work time.  Employers can cut the standard work week from40 hours to 36 hours, a 10% reduction in work hours.  These policies would “bring the US in line with the rest of the world.”  Newsflash to the SEIU – we’re America, not the rest of the world.  The rest of the world looks to us for leadership, protection, and guidance.  Diluting our productivity and companies is not the right solution for a viable, stable economy.

Human Rights Watch, the union-described watchdogs of human rights and the freedom of association, claims that the US is deficient in protecting the freedom to form unions.  Oddly, the HRW’s findings is comprised of the typical union slang: “unfair election procedures that are badly slanted toward employers; the lack of serious penalties for corporate misconduct, including firing workers; and the ability of companies to ignore workers’ choice to bargain collectively.”

Last week a lot of discussion dealt with Obama’s interview with the Washington Post and whether Obama really meant that he is tabling EFCA for some time.  The short answer is he is not tabling EFCA.  The Washington Postonly quoted 28 of the 611 words Obama gave on the matter

In March 2008 MIT Sloan School of Management released the results of a comprehensive study about unionization.  The study’s results concluded that few bargaining units make it from initial petition to a first contract; unfair labor practice charges reduce the chances of getting a contract; unfair labor practice charges reduce the changes of getting to an election; and even after a majority votes for a union, many units fail to get a contract.  What text of the results is slanted with the typical pro-union rhetoric about “the need for EFCA to level the playing field.”  What is not reported, though, is that under the current state of the law, only after an initial petition are companies allowed to openly campaign against unions.  For example, a union will promise an employee a 3% wage increase  if the employee signs an authorization card.  With enough cards signed, a petition is filed.  After the petition is filed, the employee hears that although the union promised him a 3% wage increase, the union does not have the power to do increase wages, and wages for all employees are subject to bargaining and could go up, stay the same, or go down.  In other words, many of the promises given to employees to sign cards are later exposed as not true and employees then decide not to vote for the union.  So, I am not surprised with the small number of bargaining units that make it from the initial petition to a first contract, and the removal of educating the employees about the lack of truth behind all of the union’s promises will be prohibited if EFCA passes.

Watch (well, really listen while watching SEIU photographs) Obama discuss his support for easing the ability to unionize and how business that oppose this notion “won’t get to far” with him.


I want to clear up a misunderstanding that was published in a mostly unbiased article in the Boston Globe about the Employee Free Choice Act.  The article says that the National Labor Relations Act lacks any real penalties to punish violators for wrongly terminating union supporters during organizing campaigns beyond making companies rehire those employees and pay them back wages.  This is not true.  With egregious enough violations of labor laws, the National Labor Relations Board has the ability to not hold an election and to order both sides to immediately begin negotiating a contract.  Unfortunately, the Globe’s article recited union propaganda about the weaknesses of the NLRA.

I couldn’t say it any better than this editorial from the Las Vegas Review Journal:  “But in this economic climate, with each week producing a new empty parking lot with plywood on the windows, do the geniuses in Washington really mean to create a situation where business owners already struggling to stay afloat can without warning be handed their “last straw” — a stack of cards adorned with the message, “You’re now a union shop; here are our demands”?

The State of Michigan should support EFCA.  With the passage of the Employee Free Choice Act, Michigan would be just as attractive of state as a southern, right to work state would be to house a company.  In 2007, 19.5% of Michigan workers belonged to unions.  Conversely, the following are statistics in unionization for southern states: Alabama = 9.5%; Mississippi = 6.7%; Florida = 5.9%; Texas = 4.7%; Georgia = 4.4%; South Carolina = 4.1%.

Another editorial that took the words right out of my mouth: “If businesses are hurt, so are their workers; When businesses fail, workers lose their jobs.  And when workers aren’t treated well, businesses do not thrive.  The interests of workers and business owners are not in conflict – they coincide.  But it is in the interest of union bosses to foment conflict – it leads to more unions being formed and greater revenue for their coffers;  When workers are forced to declare their allegiance to a union in the open, they are far more subject to intimidation and coercion than when they make this decision in private.  It is no coincidence that, when private-ballot elections are used, fewer workers vote in favor of union than when they are asked to publicly sign a card; Many heavily unionized industries in the Midwest have been declining for decades.  Businesses in Florida and other Southern states, where unions have not been as strong, have been thriving during this time.”

Because unions are not democratic, they’re socialistic, a poll of 1000 likely voters with a subsample of 400 union households, results show that most people oppose EFCA

  • Three out of four voters (74%) oppose the “The Employee Free Choice Act.” Union households also strongly oppose the Employee Free Choice Act, 74% oppose to only 20% support.
  • When given a more detailed description of the Employee Free Choice Act, nearly 9 out of 10 voters, 86%, feel the process should remain private and only 8% feel it should be public information. Again, even union workers feel strongly that the process should be kept private, as 88% said private and only 8% said public.
  • Four out of five voters, or 82%, favor having a federally supervised election as a means to “protect the individual rights of workers.” The voters clearly see this as a basic right, especially given that only 11% of voters feel the card check would be the best way to protect the individual rights of workers. Support increases to 85% among union households.
  • The majority (52% to 26%) of American voters believe that the Employee Free Choice Act is not good for job creation. Even among union households, the plurality (48%) believes that the Employee Free Choice Act will cost America jobs.
  • In the current economic climate, 52% of voters are particularly opposed to any measure that would risk jobs or job growth.
  • Further exemplifying the electorates’ distaste for the Employee Free Choice Act, 71% agreed that this legislation would be “unwise” and “risky.” In today’s economic climate, the electorate has little confidence in the federal government’s ability to make such major business decisions.
  • The National Right to Work Act was introduced last week in an effort to remove compulsory unionism.  In other words, every state in America would be like the south – right to work states where employees have the choice to join a union or not.  Here is a video of Senator DeMint (R-SC):


    When speaking about a potential Card Check Compromise, Sen. DeMint said, Democrats could, “go out with a secret ballot and be magnanimous and withdraw it.  Then some Republicans may breathe a sigh of relief and vote for arbitration,” which “could actually be worse in the way it slows decision making” because arbitration rulings (in Michigan) take on average 15 months to be rendered.

    In another South Carolina entry today, an entrepreneur/legislator, State Rep. Eric M. Bedingfield wrote, “I recently introduced a constitutional amendment that guarantees the right of workers to a secret ballot in union-organizing election (H3305).

    Lew Ebert, the President and CEO of North Carolina Chamber reminds us that “Congress replaced the card check system with secret-ballot elections in 1947 after workers were coerced, intimidated, and in many instances beaten up and forced to join labor organization against their will.  Yet, 60 years later, we find Congress poised to deliver back to unions the same substandard system that exploited workers and proved grossly ineffective.”  Thank you to the Carolinas for helping us fight the battle against forced unionization!

    Another entreprenuer speaks about the damaging effects of EFCA.  “Small businesses already are near the breaking point as they try to cope with the crippling credit crunch, skyrocketing healthcare costs, and paralyzing recession.  Meanwhile, organized labor is spending hundreds of millions of dollars in political campaigns.”

    Here’s another entrepreneur’s viewpoint of how EFCA will kill small businesses:  “In fiscal year 2005, more than 20 percent of elections conducted by the NLRB involved bargaining units of 10 employees or fewer, while a full 70 percent involved bargaining units of 50 employees or fewer.”  He recently asked a business owner with 24 employees what he would do if overnight he was told he became unionized, and the response was “shut down shortly thereafter.”  This is a typical response.  Unfortunately, the NLRB has the right and power to force a company to re-open, rehire all employees, pay them back wages, and continue operating as a unionized company for as long as the NLRB feels is appropriate.  Companies cannot simply shut down and start another company as a non-union company.

    Thanks to LaborPains.org for this information:  American Rights at Work opined that “from 2000 to 2007, income for the median working-age household actually dropped $2,000 after inflation.”  According to LaborPains.org, “This is nothing new.  There are these events called recessions – ever heard of them.  Besides this period, there was also medial income stagnation from 53-54, 57-58, 70-71, 73-77, 79-85, and 89-93.  Notice that many of these years are the “good old days” of unions. . . The study finishes off with the usual: everyone wants to join a union but can’t because of intimidation according to (union-funded) research.  Nothing new to read here.”  Thanks for the detail, and for the sarcasm LaborPain.org!

    The AFL-CIO headlines: “Union Membership Grows in 2008. When People Can Join Unions, They Do.”  In fact, membership grew for the second straight year in a row.  So, I ask, why do unions need EFCA?  If unions win 60% of their elections, and their membership has grown the last two years, why is Obama, Democrat Congressmen, and Labor Unions all crying that our country needs to ease the ability for employees to unionize?

    I’ll end today’s EFCA Update on a sour note.  According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the increase in unionized workers in 2007 and 2008 “demonstrates that workers see unions, and higher job standards, benefits, and protections they provide, as a key solution in this struggling economy.”  I don’t see that.  The economy (other than home sales) wasn’t necessarily struggling in 2007 and there weren’t the mass layoffs in 2007 or 2008 that there are now.  The Bureau continues, “The uptick further points to the strengths of unionized workplaces – where labor and management work together as a team, they are able to tackle challenges and better withstand an economic downturn.”  Really?  Ever heard of the Big Three?  What about Boeing’s strike that resulted in 10,000 employees being laid off?  Or the 22,000 UAW represented employees that Caterpillar is laying off?  The list continues, but my point has been made.  My last bones to pick with the Bureau is its claim that “25 percent [of employers] even fire pro-union workers organizing campaigns.”  Where does that stat come from?  Oh wait, it’s not the BLS reporting that, it’s fancy writing from the labor-fronted American Rights at Work to sound like it’s the government reporting that!

    Tuesdays are EFCA Update Days


    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.

    T.A. Frank, a liberal author, believes that increasing the financial and other penalties against companies for violating labor laws during union elections would remove the need for EFCA.

    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?

    Today Ends EFCA Update Week

    I hope you have enjoyed catching up on all things EFCA this week.  So many people ask me what’s going on with EFCA, what are the unions saying about EFCA, do I think EFCA will pass, etc. that I think a week dedicated to EFCA is informative for everyone.  Hopefully those of you who still thought EFCA wasn’t a big deal, now realize it’s huge but just not getting much mainstream media coverage.  And for you who have always been watching it brew and approach our country, it’s time to prepare for it now.  Educate those around you.  Educate your employees.  And continue to educate yourself about the impact that the Obama Administration will have on the labor laws of this country.


    Here is the anti-unions’ Center for Union Facts’ “Resolutions for Union Officials” which covered a full-page ad in the New York Times. 


    This article from the Las Vegas Business Press reminds us that small businesses are most susceptible to unionization.  Although this article is long, it is worth the read.


    The SEIU claims EFCA will create wealth and prosperity in our country.  Much of the thought is that between 1940s and 1970s was one of the most prosperous times in our country’s history and when unionization was at its height.  Unions want to revert back to those times without looking at where we are now in large measure because of those times:  the UAW purchased the retirement health insurance (in simplified terms) because the Big Three couldn’t afford it anymore; the Big Three need bailed out just to stay in business a few more months (except for Ford who “mortaged” everything it owned, including its logo to creditors); the steel industry is a fraction of what it used to be; the rubber workers no longer make most of the tires in this country; the list goes on and it’s mostly because of the 1940s-1970s.


    This Pennsylvania newspaper article chastises Sen. Arlen Spector (R-PA) for being the only Republican in support of EFCA, especially because he is from a heavily industrial state.


    EFCA will be a “firestorm” in the Senate because depending on who you speak to on any given day, Republicans either have exactly the number needed or are 1 vote shy of being able to filibuster EFCA.


    This is another article about the devastating effects EFCA will have on small businesses.  The author opines that EFCA will force many entrepreneurs to decide whether they can afford to grow, add jobs, or even stay in business.


    Former Rep. David Bonior, a member of Obama’s economic transition team, named EFCA as a way Obama can help get the economy back on track.




    No one, including Mitt Romney, believes that the answer to EFCA is for a company to move its operations outside the United States, even though that’s what many companies are threatening to do if EFCA passes.  Which raises 2 points.  1) the Patriot Employer Act isn’t enough to keep companies in a union-heavy America; and 2) Unions would rather see a company leave/close than not be able to organize it without regard that the person they tried to organize (and promised job security, better wages, etc.) is now unemployed.


    The New York Times, which openly supports EFCA, published a piece claiming that EFCA is under attack and lays out all the ways that EFCA is being fought.  This is one article I didn’t mind reading from the otherwise liberal newspaper.


    This spin is making me dizzy!  The SEIU reminds the public not to use the term “card check” when referring to EFCA, but to repeatedly say the “Employee Free Choice Act” because “it reinforces the idea that workers, not corporations, should be the ones who decide how to form a union.”  Am I missing something?  I don’t see where “card check” says that corporations should decide how to form a union.


    You may remember my post about the group “Save Our Secret Ballots” who is trying to create a state constitutional amendment to block EFCA from being law in a handful of states.  Although I’m not sure how this group intends to get around the preemption doctrine, I am following it and will update you on its progress.  Right now, the SEIU has published the names of its board members and major supporters.


    The AFL-CIO ignores the fact that our country’s economic situation is a result of structured investment vehicles and collateral debt.  Instead, according to the AFL-CIO, the underlying problem for our economy is “the corporate search for cheap labor.”  I try to be fair on this blog, with the required degree of slant necessary, but sometimes things bug me (like when the SEIU tells its followers not to say “card check,” and that a return to heavy unionization like in the 1940s-1970s will bring prosperity to this country) and this is one of those articles.



    Let me know what you thought about EFCA Update Week and if you’d like to see it become a regular even every few weeks here.

    Thursday This Week is EFCA Update Day!

    Are you ready for more EFCA Updates?  We’re just half way through the first EFCA Update Week, and already I’ve received great feedback about the articles.  Hopefully these will inform you further.



    This article critiques the Employee Free Choice Act by dissecting all arguments – business, union, academia – before concluding that EFCA is not beneficial for our economy or our country.


    Rep. John Kline (R-Minn), who serves on the Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensions subcommittee of the Education and Labor Committee offers an insight into the perils of EFCA.


    This interesting piece highlights how Republicans view EFCA as a tool that will reunite their fractured party because it is a common ground that all members can oppose


    This is likely not a surprise to anyone, but Chambers of Commerce oppose EFCA.  This article just happens to be from Virginia, but Chambers everywhere have banned together to fight against the negative effects that it would have on businesses throughout America.


    About 2 months ago I heard that the SEIU is going to organize banks.  Well, the campaign has started.  The SEIU is going public telling the bank employees that some of the bailout money should go to them.  When it doesn’t, the employees will be disgruntled, and disgruntled employees are easier to organize.    This is just one of the new niche areas of organization.  Over the next few years, unions will be sprouting up in job sectors that we never thought would be targeted.



    Outgoing Labor Secretary Elaine Chao write this insiders article titled “Our Workers Deserve a Secret Ballot” that was printed in the Wall Street Journal.


    In my quasi-effort to present both sides of EFCA (because readers want to know what the other side is doing and thinking), incoming Labor Secretary Hilda Solis opposes secret ballots.


    Union Presidents up for Obama Administration appointments.  Two former union presidents and one current union president are being considered for jobs in the Obama Administration.  Like you didn’t see that one coming?


    Here’s another union-member who is against the Employee Free Choice Act.  He encourages unions to work on self-improvement instead of bullying their way into companies that don’t want them in the first place.


    Rapid City, South Dakota is weighing on opposing EFCA and reminding the readers of the Daily Herald that over 30 years ago, William Raspberry of the Washington Post wrote this about compulsory unionism: “good unions don’t need it and bad unions don’t deserve it.”


    Remember when Democrats who now support EFCA expressed the opposite view to Mexico in 2001? Remember when Rep. George Miller (D-Cal) wrote a letter to the Mexican government saying, “we feel that the secret ballot is absolutely necessary in order to ensure that workers are not intimidated into voting for a union they might not otherwise choose?”  Remember how John Boehner (R-OH) challenged Congress about the hypocrisy to of having secret ballot elections on politically tough votes within their caucuses while “leaving employees open to harassment and intimidation in the workplace on organizing votes?”  This article remembers.


    One more day left, folks!  Come back tomorrow for our grand (well, I don’t know grand it will be) finale for the conclusion of our first EFCA Update Week!

    Wednesday This Week is Another EFCA Update Day!

    Now that the inauguration is over, it’s time for President Obama to get to work.  And for labor unions, that means working with Congress to pass the Employee Free Choice Act, RESPECT Act, Patriot Employer Act, “Union of One” Act, Middle Class Opportunity Act, and he needs to appoint new NLRB Board Members to ensure that Minority Unions become a reality.  Whew!  He’ll be a busy man.  In the meantime, I will continue to cover all of those developments.  But for now, here is another day’s installment of what happened in the world of EFCA last week.


    Outgoing Labor Secretary warns that the Labor Department could be used to harm American worker competitiveness through misguided regulations and punitive policies – and at the top of that list is EFCA.


    This is a follow up to my previous post referencing Michelle Malkin’s expose about the luxurious lifestyle the top Union brass live thanks to the hourly dues paid by their members.


    Former union lawyer and current NLRB Member (Judge) resoundingly endorses EFCA despite having to impartially enforce it when it passes.


    Obama Administration encouraged the 12 major labor unions to reunite – and they’re meeting to do just that!  For those of us who followed the defection of the SEUI from the AFL-CIO, this is major news!  Looks like Obama will do what the union wants and the union will do whatever Obama wants.


    Newly sworn in Representative Eric Massa (D-NY) is wasting no time showing his strong support for EFCA by saying that he understands the significance and importance of it – that EFCA  is the most important labor bill in 70 years.


    Rep. Gene Green (D-TX) introduced H.R. 243, which enacts one of EFCA’s three major provisions: binding arbitration.  According to LaborPains.org, it’s not going to go anywhere, but does set the stage for EFCA.  I think this is a tester bill to see what kind of reaction it will get or if it will continue to fly under the radar like most of EFCA has done.


    Secretary Solis does not commit to preserving funding for the Office of Labor-Management Standards, the office that requires accurate financial reporting of union finances through LM-2s. 



    Union leaders from 45 different countries met with the AFL-CIO President, John Sweeney and representatives of U.S. union organization to discuss the union movement in the United States and the need to work together to pass the Employee Free Choice Act.


    This AFL-CIO post compares the union density of the top 10 economically strong countries and the United States is 6th on the list and concludes (without supporting evidence) that the top five countries on the list have stronger pro-worker laws than the US, and that 16 of the top twenty have laws similar to EFCA.  But do we really want to compare ourselves to Ireland and Demark?


    OK, so this isn’t really an EFCA update, but it’s so news worthy for this blog that I just have to post it.  Rep. Jose Serrano (D-NY) introduced a bill that does away with term limits for Presidents.  Appears he was lobbying for Obama to be allowed to run for a third term before Obama was even sworn into office!


    The SEIU is still touting that Congress is committed to passing EFCA despite the naysayers.  And that’s something the SEIU and I agree on.  Those claiming that it will not pass are engaging in wishful thinking, and every now and then I let myself believe those thoughts, too.  But, the reality is that the economy will be worse in 2009 than it was in 2008.  Unemployment will continue to climb.  House values will continue to fall.  And oh yeah, there are political thank yous that need cashed in for putting Democrats in the White House and in the majority of Congressional seats.


    Come back tomorrow for more EFCA Updates!

    Middle Class Opportunity Act

    Like many of the bills that will be introduced in Congress in 2009, the Middle Class Opportunity Act was introduced before but never became law.  Why?  Because Republicans had the ability to filibuster extreme leftist legislation and Bush held veto power should the Republicans be caught napping.  Without that ability anymore, Democrats are trying their luck at the same legislation again and it appears that they will be able to enact whatever they want to.  One such bill is the Middle Class Opportunity Act which did not receive much attention in 2007 and hasn’t, yet in 2009, but it will.


    The Middle Class Opportunity Act of 2009 has a variety of tax reform goals along with pro-EFCA flavoring (“ensuring workers can exercise their rights to freely choose to form a union without employer interference”).


    In support of the law, the liberal commentator Harold Meyerson writes:


    The one great period of broadly shared prosperity in U.S. history remains the three decades following World War II, which, anything but coincidentally, is the one period in which America had high levels of unionization.  The business lobby is throwing big money into ads opposing the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA), which would make it easier for workers to join unions, but one concern it has neglected to address is how the United States can again become a land of broad-based affluence with private-sector unionization at is current 7 percent level.  There is no historic precedent for mass prosperity absent mass collective bargaining.  The model cannot be constructed.

    Happily, Barack Obama seems to have learned the right lessons from America’s economic history.  He knows that the stimulus package needs to be big enough to compensate for the collapse of bank lending.  He knows that unemployment insurance and food stamps cannot be allowed to run out.  He supports the EFCA as a way to boost Americans’ income. 

    I digressed.  Today is supposed to be about the Middle Class Opportunity Act.  EFCA discussion is reserved for Tuesdays – but just to set the record staight, just like how business is trying to thwart EFCA’s passage, labor is spending tremdous sums of money lobbying for EFCA’s passage.


    The 2009 Act is almost identical to the 2007 Act, and since there isn’t much coverage about either of the Acts, I turn to commentary about the 2007 Act.  In 2007, the Act was touted as providing tax relief for middle class families to help them manage the crunch in balancing work and family, save for their retirements, and achieve their aspirations.  The text of the bill is short, but clear:


    A BILL

    To improve the lives of middle class families and provide them with greater opportunity to achieve the American dream.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,


    This Act may be cited as the `Middle Class Opportunity Act of 2009′.


    It is the sense of Congress that Congress should enact, and the President should sign, legislation to improve the lives of middle class families and provide them with greater opportunity to achieve the American dream by—


    (1) providing middle class tax relief while making the tax laws simpler and more reliable;


    (2) promoting investments in the new economy and enacting policies that create good, well-paying jobs in the United States;


    (3) enhancing the incentives and protections to help middle class families adequately meet their needs in retirement;


    (4) improving programs to help families acquire the education and training to be productive participants in the modern economy;


    (5) promoting families by improving the access and affordability of child and elder care;


    (6) restoring fairness, prosperity, and economic security for working families by ensuring workers can exercise their rights to freely choose to form a union without employer interference; and


    (7) removing barriers to fair pay for all workers.

    It’s interesting that this is perhaps the first bill I’ve written about that is not directed at employers.  But Democrats still infused this tax bill with EFCA and easing the ability to form and join unions.  I cannot say it enough: the Union are coming.  EFCA is going to pass.  You must educate your employees about the perils of unionization before it’s too late.

    Thanks to Russ Brown for putting this legislation on my radar.  Let me know what you think about this and Mr. Meyerson’s comments.  I don’t claim to be a historian of periods of prosperity in this country and would like to hear any counterarguments to his allegations.