FRONT PAGE CONTRIBUTOR
After Health Care, the Orwellian Employee Free Choice Act is Next on the Dem Agenda
If you thought individual rights are under seige today, here’s something you may not know: Union bosses and Democrats (which has become the de facto Labor Party in the U.S. today) have a plan that will further cause your individual rights to deteriorate, increase unemployment, as well as help establish one-party rule for years to come. It’s a hallucinogencially-named bill called the Employee Free Choice Act (or EFCA).
For over four years, as former union agents and/or organizers, we have been working to alert America on the disastrous effects that EFCA will have on jobs, the economy, and America in general. Now, as the plan to nationalize health care (aka health care “reform”) enters its final stages, EFCA is likely next on the Dems agenda, according to newly-annointed union boss of bosses, Richard Trumka
After spending an estimated $1.4 billion on the 2006 and 2008 elections (both in hard dollars, “in kind” donations, and labor hours), due to the upcoming mid-term elections, union bosses do not want to see EFCA drag into 2010. They want to see action this year and Labor Secretary Solis and President Obama have both re-emphasized their commitment to the job-killing legislation at the September AFL-CIO convention in Pittsburgh.
In sum, EFCA is a bill that (as written) contains three primary provisions that can be summarized as follows:
- No-Vote Unionization. If a simple majority (50% + 1) of employees sign union “authorizations,” then all employees (100%) become unionized without a secret-ballot election.
- Government-Imposed Contracts. Once unionized, the employer and union have 130 days to come up with a contract (this includes 30 days of mediation) and, if no contract can be reached, the federal government shall appoint an arbitrator to impose a contract on the employer, its employees, and the union.
- Punitive Fines. If an employer is found to have committed an “unfair labor practice,” the employer can be fined up to $20,000 per infraction. [Note: This provision does not, however, apply to unions who violate employee rights or commit unfair labor practices.]
Contrary to what union bosses and the main stream media say, EFCA is not about workers “forming” unions. EFCA is about workers being targeted and consumed by existing unions. The reality is, if EFCA was about workers “forming” their own unions, union bosses would not have bankrolled the largest union campaign in history–the election of Barack Obama.
Harkin to Help Union Bosses Form a 2010 Hit List
Why do we expect action on EFCA soon? Again, the mid-terms are right around the corner. While there are some compromises on EFCA being bandied about in Washington these days these efforts at compromise are tenuous at best. As a result, Tom Harkin (the Senate’s chief architect today) said some months back that, if he could not get a compromise accomplished, he would send EFCA to the Senate floor for a straight up or down vote. Why?
Very simply, Harkin has pledged to help his union boss buddies develop a “hit list” of Senators who are soft on EFCA to target in the 2010 mid-term elections.
Declining Union Power. Unions have been pushing changes to the nearly 75-year old National Labor Relations Act since the 1970s and, for them, as a dying industry, it makes sense. They need members, their product is failing, and their leadership is, in most cases, lacking any sound strategy for moving forward.
Today’s unions are nothing more than one big industry. In fact, unions collect more than $10 billion from workers’ paychecks (dues) every year, even though the vast majority of unionized employees never voted to become unionized but are required to pay the union as a condition of employment. In other words, the majority of union members became members because the company they chose to work at was already unionized and, should these workers refuse to pay the union, they would be fired.
- Note: While there are currently 28 states (called non-Right-To-Work states) that allow for workers to be fired for non-payment to unions, a bill was introduced in 2008 to eliminate the 22 remaining Right-to-Work states. Should this occur in the future, then workers in all 50 states could be required to pay unions as a condition of employment, or be fired.
The underlying problem for unions, though, is despite the fact that they win nearly two thirds of all secret-ballot elections, unions fail to get contracts 45% of the time for newly unionized workers. The reason for this loss of union power is the simple reason that, in a global economy, unions no longer have the ability to extort high pay and benefits any longer. In most cases, if a union strikes (which is a union’s main weapon), striking workers are too easily replaced either during the strike, or the jobs to easily transferred offshore.
Unions have never represented a majority of the American workforce and, since the 1950s, have been declining fairly steadily as, one-by-one, they helped kill off the unionized steel, textile, trucking, and (as we all know through the recent Detroit bailouts) auto industries. In fact, unions peaked in 1947 when they reached 35.5 percent of the American workforce before beginning their long decline. Today, unions only represent 12.5 percent of the American workforce overall and, more importantly, only 7.5 percent of the private sector.
- Did you know that the JP Stevens textile mill that “Norma Rae” unionized closed in 2003? Yet, union bosses have been using the death of the real-life “Norma Rae” (Crystal Lee Sutton) as a call to action on EFCA.
Unfortunately, absent any new ideas or appeal to workers, unions see the enactment of EFCA as their only means of survival.
What Makes EFCA Dangerous?
No-Vote Unionization. The fact that unions are legally allowed to deceive and trick workers into unions, without recourse is what makes EFCA so dangerous. While many EFCA critics have argued that ‘card-check’ opens workers up to coercion and intimidation, the trickery (because it happens more frequently) should be more concerning if workers have no chance to learn they have been tricked until it is too late. Under EFCA, if a simple majority of workers can be tricked into signing up with a union, then it is all over. If they learn about the deception after the fact, too bad.
EFCA also opens employees up to more union tactics like union “moles.” Unions often use paid organizers to get hired into companies covertly to unionize companies from within. These are called union “moles.” [Read a union mole's first-hand account here.]
Union moles are a union tactic that is perfectly legal. In fact, according to public records, the United Steelworkers paid one union mole over $42,000 dollars to attempt to unionize a company in Milwaulkee. While union moles are often used today, it is widely believed that the use of moles will dramatically increase under EFCA. [Note: To Learn more about union organizing tactics, go here.]
EFCA’s Binding Arbitration Will Lead to Economic Serfdom.
As stated above, the oxy-moronically named EFCA contains a provision called binding arbitration. Binding arbitration under EFCA is where the federal government will have an arbitrator impose a contract on the parties.
Beside the constitutionally-questionable aspects of using the federal government to bind a party to a contract that he (or she) has no say in, binding arbitration will also lead workers into a form of economic serfdom.
Under Employee Free Choice Act, once binding arbitration kicks in, if employees had been tricked into unionization (under EFCA’s no-vote unionization provision) and the government imposes its contract on the employer and employees, employees..:
1) CANNOT vote to ratify or reject the government contract
2) CANNOT modify the government contract
3) CANNOT kick the union out (for two years)
4) and, perhaps most importantly, CANNOT strike in protest.
Note: A strike is the collective withholding of labor and, if workers cannot withhold their labor, then they effectively become economic serfs.
Employees will be voiceless, powerless and left with two options: Either keep their mouths shut and accept it, or quit as individuals.
Under this Hobson’s Choice, many companies will likely lose their best and brightest employees, as individual workers realize the loss of their personal freedoms. That is, until the government outlaws the practice of resigning employment too.
- Note: Of late, Democrat Arlen Specter has been touting a compromise to the current legislation that would modify the 130 days for binding arbitration to kick in to one of ‘last best and final’ arbitration, also known as ‘baseball arbitration.’
EFCA as a Means to One-Party Rule
Unions have a unique and nearly unfettered ability to affect the outcome of elections at all levels, from local school board elections to state and federal elections and, over the past two election cycles have done very well at doing so.
While money is certainly instrumental to impacting elections, so too is the ability of unions to direct their members to vote for certain candidates.
As well over 90% of all union political expenditures go toward Democrats, under EFCA, with the possibility of unions doubling their membership over the next ten years, it is estimated that union political expenditures could exceed $11.67 billion and effectively eliminate an opposition party like the GOP (or any other that stands in the way of the union agenda).
EFCA Won’t Go Away
As stated above, EFCA is a topic we have been writing and speaking about for more than four years. In 2007, two days before the Democrat-controlled House passed EFCA (it later stalled in the Senate), we had the occasion to meet with a pro-EFCA Congressman who told us, Democrats knew EFCA wasn’t going to pass in 2007, but that EFCA was not going to go away either. As Democrats gear up to try and make EFCA become a reality, you should know how it will impact you and your rights. Regardless of whether you are an employer or an employee, EFCA is a bad bill and the more people know about it, the better armed they will be against it.
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