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June 26, 2007

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union, schmunion

amen, brother!

WHY THE LEGISLATION IS NEEDED

The majority sign-up method proposed by the EFCA offers a fairer path for workers to unionize because employees "often feel intimidated by their employers during unionization drives and so are fearful of losing their jobs." Employers illegally fire employees for union activity in "more than one-quarter of all organizing efforts." Approximately half of employers illegally threaten to close or relocate the business if workers elect to form a union. The Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service found that even when unions win representation elections, 45 percent of the time they fail to secure contracts from employers. During the course of union drives, employers maintain a disproportionate share of access to the media and to the voters, thus allowing the individuals with the most direct control over hiring and firing decisions to tell "their subordinates in no uncertain terms why a union would be bad for them." Washington Post columnist Harold Meyerson writes today, "This kind of hardball resistance to American workers' attempts to unionize, combined with the decline of manufacturing, has achieved catastrophic success," leading to the dwindling of America's once-vibrant middle class.

Rifleshot

I've worked for a number of unionized companies in the past. Trust me, the boss doesn't have the exclusive franchise on intimidation. Unions heads and shop stewards can be every bit as intimidating as management. Any member that has the gall to think for him or herself and buck the union position quickly finds out what real pressure is!

Chip Hanlon

Thank you, Teamsters media relations representative.

A few problems with your post: first, the reply fails to explain why secret ballots should be abolished.

More importantly, the "dwindling of America's once-vibrant middle class," though grossly overstated here, is primarily the fault of those on your side of the political aisle, to the extent that it is happening.

Minimum wage rules, environmental laws, a runaway tort system, "family leave laws," etc... these and countless other burdens your side places on America's producers explain why middle-class jobs move overseas.

Don't bother defending these things in a blog reply; I admit my side too often supports them, too, which means as a nation we have voluntarily given away our manufaturing base, the middle class jobs which have disappered most quickly in recent years. We've made a conscious decision not to be as competitive as we could be.

Your side's solutions, however--trade barriers, devaluing our currency even further (particularly vis-a-vis China) and increasing union membership-- will only make us less competitive, not more.

Don't worry, "WHY THIS LEGISLATION IS NEEDED," I know you can't relate to this argument. Unfortunately, too many on the political right don't get this stuff, either.

THE UNION DIFFERENCE

Expressing his support for the legislation, Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) said last week, "You know what the Employee Free Choice Act will mean: higher wages. Better health insurance. Safer working conditions. And by the way, we all know that employees who receive a fair standard of living are more productive. This is a win-win for employers and employees alike." The statistics plainly make the case. When comparing wages alone, union workers on average make 30 percent more. Union workers are more likely to have health care; "in March 2006, 80 percent of union workers in the private sector had jobs with employer-provided health insurance, compared with only 49 percent of nonunion workers." Not only would implementation of the act lead to better jobs, but it would also reduce poverty, as noted in a recent report published by the Center for American Progress Task Force on Poverty. While corporate profits and productivity have been rising since 2001, inequality has also reached alarming levels. Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-MA), a long-time champion of workers' rights, explained that one way "to see that employees get their fair share is to give them a stronger voice."

You're quoting Harry Reid and Edward Kennedy to make your case? Say no more!

rebecca

"Clean Air Act" anyone? How about "No Child Left Behind"? Or "PATRIOT"?

rebecca

Oooh, and I forgot: The "Healthy Forests Initiative," where we had to cut down the trees to save the trees! Awesome!

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