Oct 16, 2008
GOP and their allies are pulling out all the stops to bust unions
With Senator Barack Obama taking a wider leader after last night's debate and poll results showing that the Democrats will maintain control of the U.S. House and Senate Democrats poised to pick up a veto proof 60-seat majority in the Senate, Republicans and their allies are panicking and doing their best to fool people over the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA).
The Grand Oil Party and their bankrupt cronies are using the false mantra "Protect the workers' right to a secret ballot" to pull the wool over people's eyes. Michigan GOP Chair Saul Anuzis uses that line in his daily dose of propaganda that he posts on his "blog." No wonder he does not allow comments on that thing he calls a blog.
The U.S. House passed the EFCA with a clear majority vote of 228-183 in March of 2007, but the minority Senate Republicans blocked a vote in the Senate.
Under current U.S. law, if more than 50 percent of employees certify their desire for representation, then a union can choose to form using card check procedures by signing a card and the employer would have to recognize the bargaining unit. However, the employer does not have to recognize the card check petition of the majority and can veto the majority and require a secret-ballot vote overseen by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), and it does every single time. Under the proposed Employee Free Choice Act, an employer could only challenge a card check petition if fraud or illegal coercion was alleged.
Once the workers indicate they want a union, the employer calls for an election, and then the intimidation, threats of closure, threats of firing and actual firing begin. Many companies have special teams or flying squads that come in and work to defeat the vote. That includes actually firing organizers, forcing employees to go to mandatory meetings where the union is bashed and threats are made to actual physical violence. They also offer token raises and befits that can easily be rescinded after the union threat has passed.
Union organizers are left to try and reach employers with flyers as they zoom out of the parking lot while the employer has unfettered access.
A union is the most democratic institution in the workplace where the leaders and the contract are voted on. What the GOP and its lackeys want to do is to keep the playing field title to their advantage, and the Employee Free Choice Act works to level it.
In addition to the MIGOP propaganda, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has been flooding the airwaves with ads that parrot the GOP mantra in an attempt to stifle union organizing efforts. The Chamber has long been leading the cause of union busting, and this is just one more link in the chain. It's funny that GOP VP nominee Sarah "Spiro" Palin is trotting out her husband's union membership at rallies, but she is leading the charge to bust unions. She knows that the majority of Americans know unions helped create the middle class and raised the standard of living for all.
Wal-Mart, the world's largest retailer, has gone so far as telling its employees not to vote for Democrats in the 2008 election, especially Obama. The giant, anti-union and anti-worker retailer uses its regular meetings with employees to drive that message home. Wal-Mart is one company notorious for flying squads that come in at the slightest whiff of workers organizing.
The EFCA also addresses companies simply refusing to bargain in good faith and dragging their feet until workers must come back to work or take what ever is offered or starve. If the company and union are not able to reach agreement within 90 days, either party may ask the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS) to step in. If after 30 days of mediation the FMCS cannot resolve the dispute, it gets referred to an arbitrator whose ruling is binding for two years.
The EFCA also protects those workers who were targeted by anti-union employers who fire them for union activities. There are currently no consequences for a company who illegally fires an employee who supports the union. The new law will require the NLRB to take legal action to immediately reinstate workers fired for union activity. Companies that punish or fire employees for lawful union activity would have to pay triple damages.