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Tuesday, September 2, 2008

The Employee Free Choice Act

I heard an interesting story on CNBC about "The Employee Free Choice Act". It's been hardly discussed in the mainstream media. It passed the House and is being filibustered in the Senate. Obama said he would sign it, if elected President. If the Democrats get a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate, this bill will become law.

I had a hard time googling for details of "The Employee Free Choice Act".

In polls, the vast majority of people interviewed don't like this law. Democracy in the USA is a sham, and this bill is very nearly passing.

There's one bit I don't understand. Why are the Republicans filibustering? This is a *GREAT* law for employers!

Whenever there's a controversial barely-discussed law, I wonder "How does this law screw over individuals?"

I had a hard time googling information on this proposed law, but here's what I figured out so far.

1. The law imposes stricter fines and penalties against employers who use dirty tactics to prevent workers from unionizing. Superficially, that seems reasonable. However, unions are effectively a branch of the State. Making it easier to unionize really makes it easier to form a bureaucracy that restricts the freedom of workers and employers. Unions are just a band-aid for a corrupt economic and political system.

2. The law eliminates government-observed secret ballots. It was unclear if this applies to initial approval of the union, or all union votes. Based on what I read, this only applies to the initial ratification of the union.

The union is considered ratified once a majority of workers sign union cards. The proposed union is responsible for collecting and counting the cards. The union representative collecting cards can resort to intimidation tactics.

Actually, secret ballots *ARE* exploitative. In a secret ballot, it's impossible to tell if the voting results are tampered with. With a non-secret ballot, it's clear who's in the majority and who's in the minority. With a non-secret ballot, the majority can't claim moral authority to impose their will on the minority.

There is the risk of both employers and coworkers discriminating based on how you vote in a non-secret ballot.

It's unclear if this provision strengthens unions or weakens them.

You'll never see a proposal to eliminate secret ballots in regular State elections. If I don't vote for my Congressman, does that mean he doesn't have the right to violently impose his will on me?

3. When workers first unionize, either the employees or employer may appeal to the Federal government for mandatory arbitration. The resulting contract is binding on both parties for 2 years.

Guess who chooses the Federal government arbitrators? They're chosen by executives at large corporations! Whenever workers unionize, their first contract is unilaterally imposed by the employer for 2 years! The removes almost all the potential benefit of forming a union!

Since employers can get a Federal government imposed contract, why should they make any concessions at all when bargaining?

This last clause is great for employers! It totally screws over workers!

This law also screws over small business owners. With the new law, it's much easier for workers at small businesses to unionize.

I haven't seen much discussion of this proposed law elsewhere. Anything that helps promote the collapse of the economic and political system is fine with me! Each new stupid law brings the collapse closer!

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Workers should be screwed. Remember, they have a choice of leaving. Always. There's never a "wrongful quitting". Government never gives a shit about an employer being screwed, nope, it only cares about an employee. This is not openly fair. Therefore, an employer should have a choice of firing anyone for anything, always. But, they don't. "Screwing a worker" is their only alternative. This is the hidden balancing power for the openly disadvantaged employers. It is only fair.

Fronde said...

Great work.

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