The "Death of American Business Act"
In 2008, voters are rightly focusing on the current turmoil in economic markets, high fuel prices (though far below their highs for the year), and, to a lesser degree, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. It is indeed a remarkable time.
In a less remarkable time, an issue which might be leading the discussion and which more voters should be paying attention to today, is the Employee Free Choice Act (“EFCA, H.R.800), sponsored by the union’s best friend in the House of Representatives, George Miller (D-CA), whose donor list is a who’s-who of “International Brotherhoods”, “Associations of Workers”, and “Political Leagues”.
The EFCA, also called “Card Check”, allows unions to force a workplace to be unionized by public signing of voting cards by workers, complete with the pressure or overt threats which one might expect union organizers to bring against hesitant workers.
A secret ballot is an absolutely fundamental principle in America’s labor system. Under EFCA, that goes away, at great peril to businesses and their employees alike.
The Heritage Foundation calculates that EFCA “would disenfranchise 105 million workers.”
There are other major problems in EFCA, including a 90-day deadline for a union to negotiate with a company after which a government mediator has 30-days to try to mediate an agreement. If that is unsuccessful, the decision goes to an arbitration board (which is not defined in the bill) which determines the provisions of the contract between the union and the company.
Additionally, EFCA adds substantial penalties for “unfair labor practices” by a company’s management…but no penalties for unfair behavior by unions. That’s not a surprise given George Miller’s ownership by unions. I’m sure he believes there is no such thing as bad behavior by unions.
Doug Bandow wrote a column on October 5th which calls Card Check “the key to union control”. That means control of politics, not just business. On the business side, Bandow quotes former General Electric CEO Jack Welch as saying that EFCA “could trigger a surge in unionization across U.S. industry — and in time, a reversion to the bloated economy that brought America to its knees in the late 1970s and early ’80s and that today cripples much of European business.”
On the political side, Bandow offers the following:
Labor consultant Jonathan Tasini reported that “unions spend seven to 10 times what they give candidates and parties on internal mobilization,” which he figured meant “$8 billion to as much as $12 billion on federal elections alone” between 1979 and 2004. EFCA would enable organized labor to pour even more money into campaigns, spurring passage of union-supported legislation.
Here in Colorado, the unions have a great ally in Congressman and Senate candidate Mark Udall who is a strong supporter of EFCA. In a YouTube video on the subject (at about 45 seconds into the video), Mark Udall says the bill “isn’t perfect.” One can’t help but wonder, Congressman Udall, which provisions of the bill you don’t like. And since most of the provisions have truly dire effects on the balance of power between unions and businesses, if you think any of them is not good how can you support the bill overall? Would you be so kind as to tell us what you don’t like about EFCA and what you’d try to do about it if elected?
My guess is that Udall believes the bill is basically perfect and that he said those words just to appear more thoughtful (or informed) than he is.
The McCain campaign is finally bringing up Card Check on the stump, saying that “Senator Obama is…planning to take away your right to vote by secret ballot in labor elections.” Even the left-leaning CNN agrees that “McCain accurately represents Obama's stance.”
This is no minor issue. Donald Wilson, a labor relations expert, believes that company managers should learn “to identify early signs of union organizing” in order to mount a rapid campaign “while the card signing is going on, in order to keep people from signing additional cards.” He adds “I don’t know whether there’s time left or not…it’s coming, and you’d better get ready for it. Those companies that have prepared are the ones that are going to survive. The ones that haven’t prepared are going down.”
If there is any reason to support Republican candidates for the House and Senate in 2008, it is this issue. If things stay the way they appear today, electorally speaking, EFCA will become law in 2009. Businesses will fail or just close, unemployment will spike, and the economy will suffer even worse than it already will. As usual, when it comes to economic legislation proposed by Democratic politicians, the only clear winners will be labor unions…and Democratic politicians.
For more in-depth analysis of EFCA, the Heritage Foundation has done some excellent research which you can see at http://www.heritage.org/research/labor/cardcheck.cfm
|Print article||This entry was posted by Rossputin on 10/15/08 at 01:38:25 am . Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0.|