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February 27, 2009 04:43 AM UTC

Employee Free Choice -- It's On.

  • 40 Comments
  • by: JeffcoBlue

(Did somebody just throw down? – promoted by Colorado Pols)

Not conceding your bullshit “secret ballot” frame anymore, Libertine! The employees just get to decide if they have a secret ballot, that’s all. It’s really simple. Anything to say?

Playing nationwide, it’s just the beginning, 2009 is the year we restore the proper balance between, like Fritz Lang wrote, “the minds that plan and the hands that build.” Employee Free Choice.

Suck on that, trollbait deployed —

Comments

40 thoughts on “Employee Free Choice — It’s On.

    1. Oh, wait, no.

      Some are industries that fell victim to globalization.

      Others ran themselves into the ground.

      And the last isn’t an “industry” at all.

      Robert, you’re really a pathetic debater. Why do you bother? Do you enjoy humiliation?

    2. Unions also represent athletes and most of Hollywood, two industries that are doing great.

      I think the better indicator is industries that come up with rigid work rules, excessive job security, and/or a view that any individual can do each job equivilently.

      Industries like that tend to attrack unions because their model works well with it. And it was how our manufacturing system worked for so long and it fit that.

      But even more culpable are the companies that signed those union contract and operated that way. No company is forced to sign a given contract, they choose to do so.

      Primary responsibility rests with management.

      1. can you say A-Roid, can you say 30-50% HS drop-out rate, can you say bloated defined benefits, can you say porkulus to the rescue?

        Where oh where are your business pay-off partners?

  1. Frankly, I think the whole secret ballot/card check debate is beside the point as it is all about how to establish a union shop. We shouldn’t have union shops to begin with. If getting that 50%+1 wasn’t so important, the corporations would have less reason to act against union supporters, and union supporters wouldn’t be coercing non-union supporters into paying dues. Let all those who want a union join one and all those who don’t, not join one.

    1. Then why do have to join my homeowners association? I would agree with you if that was workable, but it is not. If some employees do not want to join fine, but then we should not have to represent them.  Our contracts should not cover them unless they are members or paying service fees.    

      1. I fully support not extending union benefits to non-union members. I also am weary of the homeowners association structure. It seems like a violation of property rights. Sure, you will be restrained by zoning laws because they are the product of the fully legitimate government of the jurisdiction, but I don’t understand where homeowners association authority comes from. All these quasi-governmental structures further strain the concept of the social contract theory in my mind.

        1. where do these elected bodies that can then tell us what to do come from? Get rid of them – all of them, so we can be free. Why have a legislature or a government telling us what we can and cannot do.

          After all, look how well libertarianism is working out for Somalia.

          1. I distinctly embraced the role of the government, it is quasi-government that I questioned. And if you cannot see the difference between the two, it heightens my worry. Not everything demands democracy (certainly not the classroom for example) nor collective action.

            1. It’s an agreement that people sign. It’s a contract. You may have experienced such things in your own life.

              You know how there’s a cable line running right past your house/apartment? And you know how it wouldn’t cost the cable company anything if you just spliced in and used it for free? And how they still don’t let you do that? And if you do, the government actually gets involved and makes you pay your share?

              Sucks, but it’s how people are.

        2. So here’s how that would play out…

          Company would pay non-union members the same wage/benefits as union members. maybe even a trifle more.

          Workers don’t see any benefit to joining union.

          Quit union.

          With union gone, company announces some emergency or another and cuts pay 10%, or raises don’t appear for a few years, or benefits disappear.

          Just like Walmart going into small communities and driving out all the local business.

          Welcome to Walmart

          1. Unions aren’t limited to working at the shop level. How about this alternate prediction.

            Unions present a package of non-public goods to members such as legal support to enforce labor laws. They use the dues for political organization and lobbying around labor relevant issues. As a result, they get universal health care, removing the burden of health care from employers, allowing them to raise wages. They are able to keep the minimum wage rising with the cost of living while enacting policies to increase mandated vacation time, shorten the work week, and provide for maternity leave. These in turn would improve the plight of workers, which I believe is the goal of unions, right?

            Your problem, and the problem of the unions, is you are so short-sighted and cannot see beyond the union methods of the past that simply aren’t going to work as well as they used to.

              1. If I didn’t understand the tragedy of the commons or more accurately, the free-rider problem, why would I have specified that the unions would need to find non-public goods to offer members. Somehow public interest groups like the AAA, NRA, ACLU, AARP, etc manage to exist even though they are similarly exposed to the free-rider problem. Why should unions receive a special status that these other groups do not?

                1. doesn’t mean they’re illiterate. Don’t be obnoxious.

                  Unions aren’t anything like a public interest group. The AARP lobbies the government for things, while unions negotiate a contract with an employer. The former relies on the goodwill of government officials and their electoral prospects, while the latter only works if the union is powerful enough to carry out a strike or boycott threat.

                  A politician has things to gain by pleasing a lobbying group. An employer generally has nothing to gain by making employee wages higher than he wants them to be. It’s fundamentally different.

                  1. If that is what unions do, then maybe they should NOT be able to lobby the government for things. It is the combination of their collective bargaining role and their interest group role that becomes very problematic. I happen to think they should be focusing on public policy rather than collective bargaining because I think the latter is detrimental with its lack of universal benefit (leading to things like our inefficient health care system). Plus, I think with globalization, it is also less effective at this point.

                    As for saying I have called people illiterate, that is a bit of a stretch. But in both cases I used it, things I said were blatantly ignored in the response. I specifically address the free-rider issue and you tell me I don’t understand the tragedy of the commons. I specifically recognize the role of governments, and I am told I’m essentially an anarchist. It is hard to have effective conversations if you choose to conveniently ignore what I’m saying and set up straw men in its stead. You aren’t JUST disagreeing with me, you are distorting what I said.

                    1. Lobbying is a Constitutional right (in the sense of petitioning for redress of grievances) for everyone. You can dislike lobbyists, and many people do, but why should unions be prevented from advocating politically for themselves and their members?

                      As for where you specifically addressed the free rider issue, I didn’t see it. Where was that?

                    2. What other organization has both the power to demand that people pay them dues and also to use those dues to lobby for specific policies?

                      As to free-rider problems, I said:

                      Unions present a package of non-public goods to members such as legal support to enforce labor laws.

                      Free-rider problems are only a concern with public goods, if one provides private or club goods, they can prevent non-payers from attaining those goods and thus have no free-rider problem.

                    3. Police and firefighters are the government, not organizations. Different departments of government may jockey for funding, but that behavior is not typically covered under the term lobbying.

                      I did want to go back to your statement about politicians going along with interest groups but employers interests directly opposing employee interests. I actually accept that construction, but I wonder why we would seek out to emphasize the area of conflict rather than, especially in a liberal era where labor influence in public policy could be strong, seek the one that is not combative.

                      I see the transition to an interest group model of unions as a way to dampen the tension rather than heighten it. Additionally, that there are far more laborers than employers makes the political approach, where numbers matter, seem more fruitful than the shop approach where it is a battle of two entities, employer vs. union.

              2. If I were claiming that those who do not pay dues should directly benefit from collective bargaining, I would be ignoring the collective action problem. I am not suggesting that non-dues paying individuals be included, though they may receive secondary benefits much as non-union shops often do as a result of union shops under the present system.

                But I don’t see why this comparison to paying your phone bill works…if you don’t pay your phone bill, they can deny you service. Phone service isn’t a public good and thus neither the tragedy of the commons nor the free-rider problems apply. Taxes would be a free-rider problem if they were voluntary, which is why it is illegal not to pay them, but the point I was stressing is that a government has the legitimacy to punish, I don’t think unions should. So neither of your examples are really relevant to the point I was making.

        3. Fair enough, but If you “fully support not extending union benefits to non-union members”, there is no easy fix for that, especially in the private sector. If a union with exclusive recognition is negotiating a contract for all of the employees in the specific workplace, you simply cannot exclude members and non-members form the provisions of that contract. You cannot bargain on the premise of excluding benefits for non-members under the same contract, does that make sense?  What generally happens under those circumstances is those non-members pay small service fees, (sometimes called agency fees) and are covered under the same contract, receive the same raises, ect, and benefits applied at about every level. When I say “about every level”, I do not mean voting rights and equal footing as somebody who is a actual member.

          The HOA issue is a good example of a situation where “everybody who benefits, has to pay”, but the best example is government itself. Everybody has to pay some taxes regardless based on collective interest and benefit.  That is all unions are – representative democracy in the workplace.  If you really want the specific laws governing HOA’s, I have them somewhere. I used to be very involved with the HOA at my last residence.  

    1. 70-80% of households don’t think card check is acceptable

      90% of households say the secret ballot must remain a cornerstone of the unionization process

      http://www.nam.org/PolicyIssue

      So now lets discuss what Secretary Solis isn’t delivering the Union Bosses.

      Is it fining, processing labor complaints, using the rule of law to right injustices? Or are you most concerned with production quotas and bloated defined benefit programs?

      1. I do not believe that as you may guess. Check out this recent poll by parade magazine. (linked below)  Over 90% voting yes to the question of labor unions still being needed.  

        I understand there is a powerful surge to manipulate the facts in claiming the Employee Free Choice Act would “take away the ballot”, but you we have discussed, that is just not the case. The law would not “take away the secret ballot”, but that has become a talking point to mislead.

        Your other questions are a little confusing to me. I will just say that I believe the workplace is critical part of people’s lives and it should be respected as such. That means due process of law, equal justice, equal opportunity and some degree of checks and balances as opposed to the laissez fare approach, where people are just “lucky to have a job” and should shut up and be thankful for it.  That is not what the country stands for in my opinion.    

        http://www.parade.com/news/int

    2. Have you read the EFCA…

      Binding arbitration…

      Increase employer penalty…but no increased union penalty for unfair labor practices.  If penalties need to increase why do they not increase for both??

      I cant understand what is wrong with secret ballot elections.  Do you want me standing over you in the voting booth…I doubt it.

      Is your choice for a secret ballot on the first tuesday after the first monday in Nov. your choice?? Why do we even want the option to take this away from employees?  Are you so blinded by partisan politics that you cannot see the inherent corruption that goes with this policy??

       

      1. Binding arbitration – This is a third party that forces the employer and the workers to follow the decision of a non-biased party. This is a mechanism to force employers to follow the law that already exists and negotiate contracts as required by law. This will only favor the union if the company is breaking the law.

        Increase employer penalty – Big business would rather pay small fines to fight the employees’ choice to unionize rather than put that toward benefits or wages. This will help put a stop to that.

        Secret Ballot – My my where to begin? There will be a secret ballot if the employees choose to have one. If they wish to hold a “secret” election with a month-long campaign from a union busting firm employed by the business management where employees are forced to attend meetings attempting to coerce them to vote no, they will have that choice. Me, I think if the majority of employees have signed an open commitment, it is an even stronger show than a private vote. BTW, that is already required at a lower threshold currently.

        Support the Employee Free Choice Act. It allows the workers to decide if they want a union without fear of losing their jobs in the attempt.

        1. Have you looked at the time lines behind the binding arbitration??

          Under this provision of the EFCA the contract negotiations are supposed to begin within 10 days after union recognition by the NLRB.  This short timeframe is unfair and is a disadvantage to companies who may not even know that an organizing campaign is taking place.  While unions can have already prepared for the negotiations, small businesses may not even have the resources or the time to find a credible experienced lawyer to represent their interests at the negotiation table.  

          Both sides then have only 90 days to reach an agreement that covers multiple issues not just fiscal compensation.  If an agreement is not reached then the the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service would have 30 days with the parties before the matter goes to a panel of arbitrators, who will hand down a binding 2 year contract.  This inhibits the employee’s ability to strike or the employer’s ability to lock out.  

          Under the card check system unions can organize without an employer ever knowing.  Why should the unions have a strangle hold on the flow of information…There are two sides to every story.  I am sure you like to get both sides(and both will be biased in their direction) before you make a decision…right?

          As far as the card check threshhold under NLRA…you are right I mispoke it is 30%…but unions still get 60% in most cases before turning in the cards.  Are you really saying that employees will not feel any pressure from organizers when they are standing right there asking them to sign cards??  Really?  Bottom line is that if both sides are able to present their argument and then the worker gets to decide freely…without pressure from anyone, at the moment of their decision(like a secret ballot) then they can make an informed decision, ON THEIR OWN!!  If they employer is treating them badly and they are not happy then they will vote for the union.  If they are happy and treated well then they probably will vote against unionization.  Why do you feel everyone has to be unionized?  If the purpose of a union is to help employees get fair compensation and benefits and they already are…what is the point for the union??  To pick up more members, garnish their wages, and have more political power?  I have continued to say there is two sides to every story.

          BTW-you still havent showed me the clause in the EFCA that requires under strict penalty that the organizer MUST tell the employee that they have the option to a secret ballot.    

          1. why does the company need “fair warning”? The company doesn’t need to give them “fair warning” if they’re going to cut benefits or make layoffs.

            1. Are you talking in regards to the employer not getting fair warning on the binding arbitration or when the organizing campaign is going on??  

              Companies usually do what they have to to stay in business.  If work is slow they may have to lay people off.  if there is no work then they may have to lay people off.  Do you think they want to do that??  Do you think that business owner are all evil people who love to lay people off? Small an upstart businesses need flexibility to grow and create more jobs.  Without this flexibility they will perish therefore less jobs.  How is the economy in Michigan?  and other high union states?? they grow slower and creates less new jobs per year.

              Which state has the lowest unemployment in the country?  How unionized is this state?  Is it a right to work state?      

              I will quit trying to get anyone on here to answer my questions…that is an answer in itself.

  2. Taking healthcare costs out of the employer and employee contract negotiations means putting the U. S. in competition against only sweatshop labor and subsidized industry.  

    I look for a great year for working men and women.

  3. Right now union organizers win 60% of organizing elections.  Why then do they say that they need to “even” the playing field with the EFCA???

    The Union propaganda says that the EFCA gives the choice back to the employee.  Where in the EFCA does it REQUIRE the organizers to specifically tell the employee that they have the choice to a secret ballot???

    Under NLRA laws Right now organizers usually get 60% of cards signed before they petition the NLRB for unionization when all they have to get is 50%+1.  After they petition the NLRB for union recognition the employer gets an opportunity to request a secret ballot election.  The unions go after 60% b/c they know they will have some defections during the secret ballot election.  If the Card Check process is fair then why would unions only petition the NLRB after 60% of card are signed??

    Bottom line is that the EFCA does not give the choice to the employees.  It gives the choice to the union.  Further…what is wrong with secret ballot elections??  How is a secret ballot closely regulated election a bad thing??  It is what we as Americans have fought for here and abroad.

    1. Bottom line is that the EFCA does not give the choice to the employees.  It gives the choice to the union.  Further…what is wrong with secret ballot elections??  How is a secret ballot closely regulated election a bad thing??  It is what we as Americans have fought for here and abroad.

      Do you realize who unions are? Webster’s defines a labor union as an organization of workers formed for the purpose of advancing its members’ interests in respect to wages, benefits, and working conditions.

      If the Employee Free Choice Act helps workers in terms of wages, benefits and working conditions, I’m all for it. Bottom line. You can take your Chamber of Commerce bull to the Repubs, Bipart. I am tired of your lies.

      1. Do you realize you did not answer any of these questions??  

        I think union organizing is good as long it is done b/c employees are being treated unfairly by their employer.  That is why we have the right to unionize.  Remember Unions do not create jobs Employers and business owners create jobs.  Most employers treat their employees well. they are the reason the business can make a profit.  If they dont they should and can organize…but what is wrong with the current system?

        It is hysterical that you think all unions are good and employers are bad.  There are bad eggs on both sides and the NLRA has set up procedures to deal with them.  Why do you want to tip the scales so far in one direction.  Have you seen the economic enviroment in California lately.

        This legislation will also hurt job growth.  

        Please look at this leg. with an open mind…there is no need to carry your political agenda with you all the time.

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