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One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -- Plato (429-347 BC)

Monday, December 08, 2008

Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) - The Team Obama's Strategy

The ARRA News reported last Wednesday on the Workforce Fairness Institute findings that Americans Oppose Forced Labor Votes. When presented the statistics that with neutral language that describes the two main components of the Employee Free Choice Act, solid majorities of those who voted in this year’s elections oppose the proposed legislation.

Now a San Francisco Chronicles open forum article notes that Employee Free Choice Act may increase economic uncertainty. Michael J. Lotito details the Act's binding arbitration provision which will result in more layoffs of workers, in more "big 3 type" government bailouts to cover their union labor expenses, or in more manufacturers moving out of the country:
The world economy is in turmoil. Detroit automakers are asking Congress for a bailout. And organized labor chimes in with a demand for Congress to pass the Employee Free Choice Act to save the day. . . . The Employee Free Choice Act contains a mandatory arbitration provision that . . . presents economic concerns that run contrary to labor's assertions that the bill would rehabilitate the economy. The bill would permit a government-appointed third party - who has no stake in an employer's business or any understanding of the company's inner workings - to impose a binding two-year collective bargaining agreement upon a company.

. . . The Employee Free Choice Act would compel mandatory arbitration in all cases, regardless of the good faith of the parties to come to an agreement. The act provides unions little incentive to reach an agreement before placing a first contract in an arbitrator's hands. Arbitrators would not be subject to any limitations, and employers could not appeal their decisions. Companies would be placed in a vacuum of uncertainty that could paralyze corporate investments.

The Conference Board, which polls top executives around the world, has identified "speed, flexibility and adaptability to change" as the three pillars of successful business operations. In other words, companies need control of their businesses in order to succeed.

The congressional hearings involving the Detroit automakers suggest what a disastrous impact the Employee Free Choice Act could have on the economy. The Big Three are carrying heavy employee pension and health-care fund obligations. Under the act, an arbitrator may compel a company to participate in a multi-employer union pension and health care fund, regardless of whether the employer can afford it. Should the plan become underfunded or the workers vote to decertify the union, an employer could be required to assume continuing financial obligations under such plans. Businesses forced to make unanticipated contributions and inherit liabilities may suffer severe consequences to the detriment of their employees and shareholders.

In addition to possibly eliminating jobs, companies may be forced to raise their prices. Worse, because being subject to Employee Free Choice Act's arbitration provisions seems so onerous, businesses may move or open operations overseas that they otherwise would have opened in the United States. . . .
From an Saturday's Boston Globe op-ed article we read: ". . . some labor supporters of the president-elect fear he may be backing away from a key campaign commitment to workers threatened by recession. . . . More disturbing, his new chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, has declined to say whether the White House will support the Employee Free Choice Act."

However, with this this rumor that Team Obama has begun seriously to downplay the impact of the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) and that Obama may not even support it anymore, we musr realize that the truth is far different. The truth is that that this rumor is not an accurate portrayal of the politics that the incoming Obama administration is playing. Obama is not talking about EFCA—or card check—because it is wildly unpopular, as the poll we referenced at the beginning of this article.

Thus, the Team Obama's strategy seems to be simply not to talk about EFCA so that it doesn’t appear in the news. EFCA still remains as part of their agenda. Before it’s too late Contact your senators! Tell them that you oppose taking away employees' right to a secret ballot and that you oppose the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) also know as "Card Check."

Tags: Card Check, EFCA, Employee Free Choice Act, exit polls, Senator, Survey, Union, voting rights, cartoon, Eric Allie To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Posted by Bill Smith at 2:27 PM - Post Link


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