Posts Tagged ‘Binding Arbitration’
The future of the Employee Free Choice Act remains shrouded in mystery as we head back toward the September reconvening of Congress. There is little “news” but plenty of chatter.
Consider this report from The Hill’s Michael O’Brien:
A top labor official said Monday that President Obama and White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel have indicated that they will not bring up “card check” legislation until after healthcare reform is done in Congress.
AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Richard Trumka, the expected incoming president of the influential union, pledged during a web chat on the liberal blog firedoglake that organized labor would work to pass healthcare reform in order to move onto one of its top priorities, the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA).
“The President/and Emanuel have both said they dont intend to bring Employee Free Choice Act up until Health Insurance Reform is done,” Trumka wrote on the blog. “Which gives us an additional reason to do Health Insurance Reform now!”
Meanwhile, over at the Washington Examiner, Brian Johnson writes “there is one provision that labor will never give up: binding arbitration.”
He’s absolutely correct. While unions such as SEIU may want to invest themselves in the “card check” provision to increase the dues-paying membership in the short run, many AFL-CIO unions are dead-set on binding arbitration because it’s the key to getting new employees to prop up failing pension funds.
Johnson concludes on this note:
EFCA-Plus leaves too many questions about arbitrators unanswered while simultaneously giving them unprecedented power. There is no provision that lays out how arbitrators will be chosen, leaving questions about qualifications and bias.
Government is increasing its influence in every part of your life, from what car you can buy to your health insurance. Now they want to dictate to employees and employers the terms of negotiation. Go figure.
Louisiana news outlet The Advocate has a fair and provocative article on the fight over the Employee Free Choice Act, but we think this intro leaves a bit out:
The debate is one of Washington
“The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist.” It’s a scheme that worked for the devil, for the speaker of this quote in The Usual Suspects, and the increasingly-toxic card check provision of the Employee Free Choice Act.
First it was the canard that EFCA didn’t eliminate secret ballots. It is just a plain fact: once union organizers collect more than 50 percent of union cards — even if employees were uninformed, under-informed, misinformed, or “nudged” as they signed — the National Labor Relations Board cannot direct an election. It’s a myth that has been busted again and again, but like all great lies it continues on among the darkest corners of the Internet (and a few of our own lesser-hinged commenters).
But now it seems that rumors of card check’s death have been greatly exaggerated for a specific purpose (or several). Our friends at Shopfloor.org have been tracking the mysteriously timed pronouncement of card check’s death, even while Beltway insiders say it’s not so. So herein the latest analysis from Shopfloor:
The flogging of the
Kevin Mooney from the Examiner has a great article this morning on the threat of the Employee Free Choice Act (and, in particular, its binding arbitration provision) to small business. Interviewing Jonathan Johnson, president of Overstock.com, Mooney writes:
Crain’s has a what-you-should-know-about the Employee Free Choice Act. Our readers already know the basics so we won’t belabor them, but we will pass along this sentiment, which we hear from ABC members all the time:
“Binding arbitration takes the onus off the union to be a serious negotiator,” says Butch Bingham, president of Bulkmatic Transport Co., whose Griffith, Ind., company faced a union drive five years ago. “It’s almost impossible to get a contract signed so quickly. Then some independent person will be deciding my economic package and whether or not my company survives.”
Even then, it’s only a best-case scenario that the person will really be independent.