The seemingly innocent implications of the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) -- to make it simpler for a company's employees to unionize -- stand in stark contrast to its realities.
Under the bill, employers would be required to recognize a union once organizers collect cards from a simple majority (more than 50 percent) of the company's employees. After cards are submitted to the National Labor Relations Board, the new union must be certified.
The EFCA also imposes first-contract mediation and arbitration, putting an end to collective bargaining.
Finally, the bill would exponentially increase the penalties for unfair labor practices committed by employers during an organizing drive.
Proponents of the bill (Democrats) say the EFCA would ease the way for employees to form a union, but, in fact, this legislation would be more likely to create a hostile environment for employees who do not favor forming a union. The bill would also make it extremely difficult and financially risky for an employer to offer reasons why forming a union would not be the best decision. Any such attempts could become fodder for complaints by union officials of unfair labor practices by the employer.
Mandatory arbitration effectively ends any chance for collective bargaining because a government arbitrator writes the contract. In such cases, the right of the workers to vote on a contract is removed, along with the employers right to lock out workers.
Since the entire union formation process under the EFCA is conducted without elections, the true wishes of the employees are never voiced. Most unions in existence today were formed by way of a secret ballot. The EFCA, however, carries no privacy regulations, which means the people who do not sign the union cards risk exposure by union organizers.
Index to the 2009 Liberal Agenda: