Friday, June 12, 2009

The Employee Free Choice Consequences

Senator Tim Johnson recently let business leaders know that he would allow a Senate floor vote on the so-called Employee Free Choice Act, essentially lending his support of the bill by working towards a filibuster-proof majority cloture vote.

It can’t be stressed enough how much of a detriment this bill will be both to South Dakota businesses and workers alike. Here’s how:
  • The secret ballot, a fundamental element of a working democracy, is eliminated, which does not necessarily allow employees to decide for themselves whether or not they wish to or see a need to unionize. They are opened up to pressures from both union officials and employers alike—skewing how they would truly vote.
  • Unionization would become much easier, granting more power and money to union bosses who often devote dues to political slush funds that often don't reflect the views of the employees that were in the minority who did not vote for unionization, yet are required by law to be represented by the union regardless.
  • The bill also calls for binding arbitration. When the union and management cannot come to an agreement, a third party comes in a determines what is best for both parties…and their decision is final and binding despite what each side thinks. Labor agreements often involve an arbitrator as last resort, but that should be up to labor and management to decide in their negotiations--not through government mandate.
Overall, the Employee Free Choice Act grants too much power to appointed bureaucracy and unelected arbitrators, undermining the rights of both employees and employers and needs to be opposed. Hopefully Senator Johnson will reconsider his position.

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