Sunday, November 16, 2008

Employee Free Choice Act: Both sides argue vigorously


Today some media broadcast and cable stations were airing ads for the Employee Free Choice Act (of 2007), with acronym ECFA. Govtrack gives this as H.R. 800, introduced by George Miller (D-CA. with 233 cosponsors), passed the House, but without cloture on the motion to proceed in the Senate. It is also called the “card check bill”. The Govtrack reference is here.

An advocacy organization has a website with a petition to support the passage of this legislation. The website is this. The website claims that the bill would strengthen penalties against employers who break the law, allow either side to request mediation, and allow for a “majority sign-up” concept.

There is a website called “ECFA Exposed” from the “Labor Relations Institute, Inc.” The summary complains about “card-check of unions without a secret ballot election” (that is, more potential of union pressure on employees publicly), government imposed “fast-track” contracts, and punitive damages for companies but not for unions. The site URL is this. The site claims that president-elect Barack Obama has promised to sign the bill. There is an embedded YouTube video “ECFA Exposed” in which individuals who are identified as “real” union organizers argue against the bill as allowing undue social pressure on individual people to sign up.

The legislation speaks to the whole question of how important structured “power” relationships need to be our economy.

Picture: AFL-CIO on 16th St. in Washington DC, near the White House.

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