Thursday, March 01, 2007

Nancy's Payback to Her Union Buddies

Oh Nancy, do as I say and not as I do huh? Is that your motto? How evil the GOP is for taking money from special interests and giving them favors. Gee Nancy, if we put you in the driver's seat, you are going to eliminate political payback, right? Get rid of the culture of corruption and use these nice slogans. Well then, explain to us the reason why you and the rest of the anti-business bleeding heart socialist in Congress want to repeal the 1935 Wagner Act which requires that votes to unionize be done in secret. Well there is one reason, payback time, right Nancy? The union gave you folks a lot of money and now that you are in power, the unions can reverse the 50 year old trend in declining unionization by getting rid of secret ballots so that it will be easier to intimidate workers into voting for the union. I understand it's much more difficult to intimidate someone if you don't know how they are going to vote, but this one really stinks even more than the almost secret deal you made with Starkist Tuna. Sorry Nancy, but the problem is not with the law, it is with the unions. They tend to look out for themselves as an organization more than they do the members. Perhaps you remember the former union boss here in Miami? You know, the one who ran the Miami Dade Teacher's Union? He surely looked out for his members....(money).

The WSJ notes the following about the above referenced legislation, which will fortunatley not make it through the Senate and would surely be vetoed. But heaven forbid if O'Hillary and O'Bama get elected....they (unlike Bill Richardson who is not anti-business) would spread their butt cheeks for the unions and would easily pass this legislation in a flash:
Big Labor has been agitating to ease union-formation requirements for more than a decade. And prior to last year's election, the AFL-CIO, AFSCME and their allies made it clear to Democrats that this vote would be the most important return they expected on their investment in a Nancy Pelosi Speakership. This is payback day.

The union claim is that employers are engaging in rampant unfair labor practices to prevent employees from exercising their right to organize. But data from the National Labor Relations Board, which oversees union elections, show no rise in such activities. The reality is that union membership has been in decline for decades, and labor leaders are desperate to rig the rules in order to reverse the trend. In the 1950s, 35% of private-sector workers were unionized. By the early 1980s the number had fallen to 20%, and today it stands at just 7.4%.

The reason for this decline isn't illegal management meddling in organizing efforts. The problem is that unions haven't been able to persuade the workers themselves. Our own, longstanding position is that when a company is organized it is almost always the company's fault. But workers of all classes and skills can also read the news and understand that unions no longer provide job security, if they ever did. The most heavily unionized industries--such as airlines and Detroit carmakers--are typically those that are financially beleaguered and shedding jobs. Workers know that unions often provide short-term wage gains at the cost of longer-term job insecurity.

All of which explains the drive to rewrite the rules and do away with secret-ballot elections administered by the NLRB, a procedure in place since the 1935 Wagner Act. Under current rules, once 30% of employees at a workplace express interest in unionizing by signing an authorization card, organizers can go to management and demand voluntary "card-check" recognition. The employer then has the option of recognizing the union or demanding an election.

It shouldn't be surprising that many workers who sign these cards later have second thoughts after getting the employer's side of the story. Workers sign cards for all kinds of reasons, including peer pressure and intimidation. It's not uncommon for an organizer to approach an employer with cards that show 90% of the workforce wants to unionize, only to have the percentage plummet once employees hear about the downside of a union shop and have a chance to vote by secret ballot. So Big Labor wants to dispense with these petty elections and make union recognition mandatory as soon as a simple majority of workers sign a card.
Notably, nearly every American business group is united in opposing this affront to worker freedom. They understand this will make organizing that much easier, thus making their own businesses that much less competitive. One business response would surely be to hire fewer workers--the opposite of what the unions claim to want.
[Read the rest of the opinion piece here.]
UPDATE: House Passes Card-Check Bill, Setting Stage for Showdown in Senate. By a vote of 241-185, the House passes the Employee Free Choice Act (H.R. 800), setting the stage for a showdown in the Senate and with the president over the legislation that would streamline the process for union organizing through a card-check process. House passage comes on a roll-call vote after representatives rejected three Republican-backed amendments, including one designed to require the use of secret ballot elections.

Following passage of the bill, House Speaker Pelosi (D-Calif.) says the bill is "the most important piece of labor reform in a generation." [In other words, this is how she pays back those friends who donated big to the DNC]. She says the legislation "is about majority rule, about stopping the harassment of workers in the workplace." [The legislation is about giving the unions a big fat present. THey can muscle in any business now without first going through a supervised election through the NLRB which was the way it has been done since the 1930's to insure fair elections. Because gee, the unions never intimated anyone.] House Republicans had argued the bill was undemocratic and was a gift to organized labor. House Minority Leader Boehner (R-Ohio) also says the bill leaves workers "vulnerable to intimidation from both sides."

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