On the surface, “mandatory arbitration” may not sound like such a bad thing. The simple definition of arbitration means that if two parties can’t agree on something, a disinterested third party is brought in to mediate the dispute. Under current law, and as is typical with contract law in general, both parties still must agree to the final arbitrated settlement, even if agreement comes as an advance stipulation of the arbitration process and the settlement.
This is fine under current law for two reasons: first, it is understood that the parties have no obligation to agree, only to negotiate in good faith, and if they’ve come as far as submitting to arbitration, they typically are negotiating in good faith and allowing for concessions to each other. Secondly, the members (employees) who have to live under the terms of the contract get a final chance to accept or reject the
Continue reading EFCA Throw-Away: Part III
Here’s a list of the first 10 senate bills of the new Congress. For greater scrutiny of S. 2, click here to review a PDF, and notice point 6. Sounds like the Employee Free Choice Act to me!
Thanks to Brian Johnson at the Alliance for Worker Freedom (www.workerfreedom.org) for the tip, and the PDF.
If you have been following the conversation about how soon the EFCA will become a priority, don’t hold your breath thinking reason will prevail. Dollars trump reason almost every time (in politics at least)! The SEIU has committed $85 million more to see this surface at the top of the heap of legislative priorities.
You may hear of some democrats making noise at the moment, attempting to find some middle ground on EFCA, but when it comes down to accountability to the money that put them in office, or can remove them, they will typically cave to the pressure and find a way to tell their constituencies it was in their best interest. One way these senators may attempt to walk the tightrope is to push for compromises to the bill. As I discussed yesterday, whether this compromise is shortened elections, or dropping the election issue
Continue reading Employee Free Choice Act Debate: Money Talks
With Senate dems closing in on number 59, It seems ever increasingly certain that as time draws toward official debate and eventual vote on card-check, the final version may be in the hands of PA Senator Arlen Spector. Considering that Spector was the lone R to vote for cloture on the last go-round, this is causing much angst. However, there is much to consider, and the heavens seem to be aligning in such fashion that says this will be anything but easy for either side when it comes to Arlen Spector. Consider this:
Arlen Spector is up for re-election in 2010, and he has a problem with the republican electorate in Pennsylvania. As Rick Santorum, the former Pennsylvania senator, explained last week in a newspaper column,
“Specter’s biggest problem…may be that thousands of southeastern Pennsylvania
Continue reading The specter of Spector
For years we have bemoaned the fact that only a small percentage of clients call us when we can do the most good for them, which is BEFORE they have a challenging employee relations issue. Unfortunately, most call us after the house is on fire, and are then only interested in fire extinguishers. Once we’ve helped put out the fire (defeated a union organizing drive), only then do they usually become more responsive to determining what caused the fire in the first place, taking actions to correct those causes, and measuring their effectiveness in making those corrections permanent.
As Kirsanow points out, Big Labor has almost as much to gain from giving up the idea of no secret ballot in exchange for a shortened election campaign period (especially if they hang onto the arbitration provisions of the law).
Unions have typically been talking to the employees of a targeted
Continue reading EFCA Throw-Away: Part II
The more we have studied the prospects of American business under some form of Employee Free Choice Act, the more we are becoming convinced that the furor over the elimination of the secret ballot could very much turn into (or already has turned into) a smoke screen for the most damaging element of the legislation: mandatory arbitration.
Not too many folks are talking about it yet – it’s a bit harder for “Joe Sixpack” to grasp the nature of what happens behind closed doors in contract negotiations. What federal mediators and arbitrators are and do is less understood than the simple act of voting (or not getting the chance to vote).
Peter Kirsanow hits the nail on the head with his editorial in National Review. It would be a very viable strategy for Big Labor to fan the flames of the “card check/secret ballot” debate, ratcheting up the angst
Continue reading The EFCA Throw-Away
Labor Relations INK
Download a PDF of this issue with links here.
“Big Labor” Secretary Solis
It is no surprise that Obama would appoint a Labor Secretary that is strongly in support of Big Labor. The comments of several from the Labor sphere can be read here.
A NYTimes article put it quite succinctly:
“Ms. Solis has championed a bill, called the Employee Free Choice Act, that is the No. 1 priority of organized labor… She is the only member of Congress on the board of American Rights at Work, a pro-union group pushing for the bill.”
Some insiders believe
Continue reading INK: January 6, 2009
One common misconception with labor unions is that unions themselves are responsible for higher wages, better health care, more fruitful pensions, etc. The is that while unions can agitate for such things, it’s ultimately up to the company to provide these types of things. We are reminded of this basic truth when we read a Wall Street Journal story today that paints a very grim picture of contract negotiations with major employers in the upcoming year. The bottom line is that right now is quite possibly the worst time to negotiate with a company. The end result is that a lot of these contract negotiations are probably going to go poorly for organized labor. Companies are simply not going to be able to afford to give more and more in tough economic times. This is doubly bad for labor unions because their entire foundation is premised upon
Continue reading Tough Year Ahead for Organized Labor Contracts?
The blog over at the AFL-CIO has an interesting posting from a few days ago. One big problem with EFCA is that despite being told by labor organizers that the legislation is great for business, no major business leaders have come out in favor of EFCA. Enter Joe Diecedue. Mr. Diecedue wrote an op-ed in the Arkansas Democratic Gazette recently, strongly in favor of EFCA. The AFL-CIO describes Mr. Diecedue as a businessman in favor of EFCA, since he is a general agent with the American Income Life Insurance Company.
What the AFL-CIO conveniently forgets to mention is that the American Income Life Insurance Company is well-known for providing insurance services to union members. Check out this description of the company:
“American Income is the only 100% wall-to-wall union insurance company providing supplemental benefits to union members and their families. Every person who works for American Income is
Continue reading A Businessman Supports EFCA….Sort Of