Sunday, March 22, 2009

Starbucks, Costco Oppose 'Card Check' Bill

"I do not view the labor movement as part of the problem. To me, and to my administration, labor unions are a big part of the solution. We need to level the playing field for workers and the unions that represent their interests – because we cannot have a strong middle class without a strong labor movement. "
--President Obama 3/3/09 addressing AFL-CIO Union leaders.

"We will pass the Employee Free Choice Act," President Obama told more than 100 top labor officials in a closed-door meeting at the labor federation's winter gathering in Miami, according to people at the meeting.

I have been pretty critical of unions lately, especially the UAW for its failure to re-negotiate with Detroit's failing auto companies.

For the record, I'm not anti-union. I'm certainly not pro-union by any means, but I do believe that employees should have the right to unionize in any given industry should they see fit -- when left on their own, most Americans make good decisions about what is best for them -- that would truly be "Employee Free Choice".

However, the so-called Employee Free Choice Act pending in Congress does the exact opposite. It eliminates the "secret ballot" for unionization and opens the door for intimidation and corruption from union brass.

Newsmax reports:

Three major retailers on Saturday laid out broad details of an alternative proposal they hope will fend off a deadlock over a hotly contested bill making it easier for workers to unionize.

Starbucks Corp., Whole Foods Market Inc. and Costco Wholesale Corp. are opposed to portions of the labor-friendly Employee Free Choice Act, which would take away the right of employers to demand secret-ballot elections by workers before unions could be formed. Under the legislation, unions could gain representation if a majority of workers sign cards authorizing it.

Still, the companies say they recognize that simply opposing the bill might prove futile given a union-friendly environment in Washington in which Democrats control Congress. So the companies on Saturday announced an ad hoc committee aimed at pushing through alternatives. Their proposals will seek to maintain management's right to demand a secret ballot election and would leave out binding arbitration.

The three retailers want to toughen penalties for companies that retaliate against workers before union elections, while at the same time stiffen penalties for union violations.

"We believe in and trust our employees, which is neither anti-union nor pro-status quo," said James Sinegal of Costco. He said the group's proposals "will ensure a fair opportunity for workers to make an informed choice, with a secret ballot, whether they want a union or whether they wish to retain non-union status."

Imagine that! Leaders trusting the judgement of their constituents! What a great lesson for Liberals to learn! Let people make their own decisions!

Heritage states:

The ability to vote in privacy with a secret ballot is a fundamental American right. It is a right that some in Congress now want to take away from American workers. The Employee Free Choice Act would strip workers of their right to vote on joining a union. Instead workers would be required to publicly sign a card in front of union organizers, leaving them vulnerable to threats, harassment, and abuse. It would also require companies to go to binding arbitration. This would lead to massive government wage setting in the economy while taking away newly unionized workers ability to vote to ratify collective bargaining agreements.

Above all, Obama is ignoring the fact that three-quarters of union members oppose this legislation.

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1 comment:

  1. Sorry, the EFCA doesn't take away any choice, but rather adds another option for those wishing to unionize. The secret ballot option is not "stripped", they will only have the option of instead signing cards indicating their desire to form a union. I notice you are worried about people being bullied into forming a union but not so worried about the system currently in place, where people frequently lose their jobs over suggesting unionization. I certainly don't favor any type of bullying or coercion, but I'm at least more inclined to feel that unions are looking out for the workers best interests as opposed to management.