Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

Obama’s plan to eliminate the right of workers not to join unions

According to John Boehner’s blog, Obama wants to pass a piece of legislation called the “Employee Free Choice Act”. EFCA would deny employees the choice to not surrender a significant portion of their wages to left-wing unions, for use in left-wing political activism, (e.g. – redefining traditional marriage in California).

The post by Kevin on Boehner’s blog explains:

Yesterday, President Obama promised union bosses that “We will pass the Employee Free Choice Act,” referring to the mis-named official title of the bill popularly known as “card check.”  Unions came within a few votes of passing “card check” last Congress – and after giving $450 million to the Democratic Party this past election cycle, union bosses are cashing in on their investment by demanding the swift passage of the anti-worker “card check” bill.

Kevin also links to this must-see 6-minute video, produced by the pro-business Chamber of Commerce:

EFCA would cost American jobs because some companies would simply shut down work sites that use expensive unionized labor, rather than pay the additional costs for the same amount of production. They would just ship their plants and jobs overseas. A short policy paper from American Enterprise Institute is cited by Kevin makes the point:

Card check should be seen for what it is: an attempt to rebuild the private-sector union movement by making it dramatically easier for unions to organize American workers.  Adding card check to the already heavy burden of U.S. labor and employment law that companies face today will cost the U.S. economy additional jobs.

Allison Kasic of the Independent Women’s Forum released this short research paper on EFCA last week. I think it is ironic that the party that loudly advocates for “making every vote count” and the right to “privacy” would pass a law that hurts voting rights and privacy rights. Allison explains:

Since Congress enacted the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) in 1935, most workplaces have organized through secret ballot elections monitored by the National Labor Relations Board. Once organizers have collected signatures from at least 30 percent of workers expressing the desire to unionize, the union submits the information to the company and requests recognition.  Companies can choose to recognize the union based solely on this card check, but more regularly request an election.

The privacy of the secret ballot system protects workers from strong-arm tactics by either the unions or the company in question before and after a vote.  All of that would change under the EFCA. Elections would no longer be necessary.  Instead, a union would be recognized once a majority of workers publicly signed a card supporting unionization.  In fact, once a majority of cards have been signed, holding an election would be illegal.

The Heritage Foundation has a slew of papers on EFCA here, including this recent short research paper by James Sherk, which has a lot more detail on EFCA.

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