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Employee Free Choice Act, the maneuvering

The passions, politics and positioning (prattle and palaver, too) involving the Employee Free Choice Act have actually seemed to increase since the November 4th elections. The unions are pushing to place the anti-democratic measure at the top of the Congressional agenda in January, running TV ads, releasing partial polling results, etc. Labor appears to have gotten the upper hand over business, at least with respect to PR.

Anyway, thought a round-up of developments and commentary might be worthwhile:

  • Garry Mathiason, Human Resource Executive Online, "Employment Law: The Shifting Legal Landscape." Mathiason is shareholder, partner and vice chair of Littler Mendelson in San Francisco. He writes: "The 2009 agenda for HR professionals must assume EFCA in some form will become law. In anticipation, employers should consider auditing conditions to determine whether they would support an organizing drive; monitoring union-organizing activities within the industry or geographical location; training management about rules associated with union organizing, potentially providing employees with information and arguments about union representation when organizing activity is anticipated and -- in some highly targeted industries -- even before receiving evidence of organizing activity; and, most of all, reviewing overall employment conditions to ensure they are competitive and the needs of employees are being addressed."

  • Many people have commented on the hypocrisy of Congressional leadership elections being conducted by secret ballot -- as well as the decision of Senator Joe Lieberman's punishment for supporting John McCain -- even as Democratic leadership supports replacing secret-ballot elections in the workplace with the intimidation-inviting "card check," the public process of collecting signature cards by employees. Ed Morrissey of Pajamas Media has a good post on the topic, "Congress: Secret ballot for we but not for thee."

  • West Virginia Metro News, "The Debate On the Employee Free Choice Act": "If the Employee Free Choice Act is approved, a Charleston labor attorney says the result will be a lot of litigation...'I don't think it's the best thing to keep labor lawyers like me employed fully at the expense of workers and companies,' Attorney Kevin Carr said on Tuesday's MetroNews Talkline. He works for the law firm of Spilman Thomas and Battle and represents employers in labor disputes.

It's funny how many labor lawyers have said similar things to us, comments like, "Passage of card check would be a full-employment act for me, but it still would be terrible for business, workers and the economy."

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Rafael Mangual
Project Manager,
Legal Policy

Manhattan Institute


Published by the Manhattan Institute

The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.