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Posts tagged with “EFCA”

Victory Over EFCA

The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) posts on its blog, Shopfloor, points out that this morning at 9:00 AM EDT, the AFL-CIO took down their giant banner promoting the Employee Free Choice Act, or EFCA.  They even have pictures.

Irony alert, the banner blocked the AFL-CIO’s view of the White House over Lafayette Park from their building.  Double-irony Alert: The AFL-CIO and Chamber of Commerce and NAM are on opposite blocks near the White House on F Street if I recall.

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More Truth About EFCA

The latest from the Heritage Foundation’s discussion with former UFCW Local 700 Director of Collective Bargaining Rian Wathen on the Employee Free Choice Act.

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They Go Together Like Peas and Carrots

Can’t think of a more fitting combination back home – a shadowy group known for lying, false ads, and Orwellian language is now out and about promoting the Orwellian-named piece of legislation.  Nothing goes together quite like the Greater Wisconsin Committee (GWC) and the “Employee Free Choice Act,” wouldn’t you agree?

So to highlight this new partnership, GWC issued a press release touting a new hard-hitting ad they’re airing in Wisconsin’s 3rd Congressional District.  (Actually it’s a lame radio ad telling people to thank La Crosse Democrat Ron Kind for supporting a bill he was already co-sponsor of, but whatever wastes their budget and gives them purpose of meaning I suppose.)

The Greater Wisconsin Committee has started airing a radio advertisement in Western Wisconsin highlighting Congressman Ron Kind’s support for the Employee Free Choice Act and asking his constituents to contact him to voice their support for this needed legislation.

The advertisement touts the benefits of the legislation in leveling the playing field between workers and their employers and providing workers the freedom to choose a union to improve their wages and protect their health care and retirement benefits. The ad also corrects misinformation about the legislation between spread against Congressman Kind and other supporters of the Employee Free Choice Act by corporate special interest groups.

“At a time Wisconsin workers are facing unprecedented layoffs, decreased wages, and loss of benefits, it’s more important than ever that workers have the freedom to choose a union,” said Michelle McGrorty, executive director of the Greater Wisconsin Committee. “Passing the Employee Free Choice Act will help prevent corporations from using intimidation to deprive workers from exercising their rights to join a union. It’s important for Ron Kind’s constituents to know that he backs this crucial legislation that if enacted could help workers in Western Wisconsin gain higher wages, better benefits, and increased job security.”

Statistics show that increasing union membership is one of the best ways to expand the middle class and make sure that a future economic recovery benefits everyone. Workers in unions average earning almost 30 percent higher wages than non-union workers, are more than 50 percent more likely to have employer-provided health insurance and are substantially more likely to have defined-benefit retirement plans.

No surprise, GWC then links to statistics from the AFL-CIO, which no doubt are made up and completely self-serving.

The truth is unionization will not have stopped mass layoffs in this economy, or any economy for that matter.  In fact, why don’t I let a world-renowned, well-respected economist tell you what unionization will likely do to the unemployment rate.

Another cause of long-term unemployment is unionization. High union wages that exceed the competitive market rate are likely to cause job losses in the unionized sector of the economy. Also, those who lose high-wage union jobs are often reluctant to accept alternative low-wage employment. Between 1970 and 1985, for example, a state with a 20 percent unionization rate, approximately the average for the fifty states and the District of Columbia, experienced an unemployment rate that was 1.2 percentage points higher than that of a hypothetical state that had no unions. To put this in perspective, 1.2 percentage points is about 60 percent of the increase in normal unemployment between 1970 and 1985.

Those are the words of Larry Summers, Director of President Barack Obama’s National Economic Council.

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Ooops, He Did It Again

Former South Dakota Senator and Democratic Presidential Candidate in 1972, George McGovern, has another brilliant op-ed piece in the Wall Street Journal on why the Orwellian-named “Employee Free Choice Act” is bad for this nation and this economy.  His last piece focused on the bill’s “Card Check” provision which will strip employees of a secret ballot in the formation of a union.

Today. he focuses on the mandatory arbitration portion of the bill, which doesn’t get the headlines “Card Check” does.

In a contract negotiation, each party typically perceives the other as too demanding. But no one loses their right to contract willingly or suffers being forced to agree to anything. Employees can strike if they feel that they have been dealt with unfairly, but it is a costly option. Employers are free to reject labor demands they find to be too difficult to accept, but running a business without experienced employees is itself difficult. Both sides have an incentive to press their demands, but they also have compelling reasons not to press their demands too far. EFCA would disrupt that balance by enabling government-appointed lawyers to decide what they believe is fair or reasonable.

A federally appointed arbitrator cannot be expected to understand the nuances specific to each business dispute, the competitive market position of the business, or the plethora of other factors unique to each case. Yet fundamental decisions on wages and benefit costs, rules for promotions, or even rules for exiting an unprofitable line of business could fall to federal arbitrators under EFCA.

Many labor contracts can run over 100 pages with their requirements of each party. Compulsory arbitration is, in one sense, government dictating to employees what they will win or lose in the deal, with no opportunity to approve the “agreement.” Why should employees pay union dues to get such a contract?

My perspective on the so-called Employee Free Choice Act is informed by life experience. After leaving the Senate in 1981, I spent some time running a hotel. It was an eye-opening introduction to something most business operators are all-too familiar with — the difficulty of controlling costs and setting prices in a weak economy. Despite my trust in government, I would have been alarmed by an outsider taking control of basic management decisions that determine success or failure in a business where I had invested my life savings.

When it comes to labor disputes, both parties should be guaranteed a real chance for compromise under the joint economic threat of contract breakdowns. George Meany, president of the AFL-CIO for nearly 30 years before retiring in 1979, had it right in condemning mandatory arbitration as “an abrogation of freedom.”

I wonder if McGovern will get the same MSM treatment a lot of Republicans are getting who are being heralded as heroes as they stray from the traditional party orthodoxy and ask those currently in charge to ‘moderate their stances.’  You know, the way we appear to be getting lectured by the Colin Powell’s and such of the world.

Oh, who the hell am I kidding?

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