EFCA Alert

Fox Rothschild Labor and Employment Department has issued an Alert on the EFCA.  If our readers are unfamiliar with the EFCA, this article is a good starting point and summary of the proposed law.

Why you don't have to hate unions to oppose the EFCA

If you are reading this blog posting, you are probably well-aware of the fact that it is on the web page of a law firm that represents management in employment matters. Here is a piece of information you do not have: This particular writer used to be a member of a union. That’s right. I was a member of a labor union and I was glad for it. After a few years anyway.

My initial reaction to starting my job and being told that all of the teachers in the NYC public school system are members of the union was, “Really? I don’t get to choose?” As I soon learned, I did not get to choose. The teachers who had come and gone before me had made the choice for me. Over the years, I came to appreciate the union. That did not, however, negate the fact that I had not chosen to become a member.

Now, with the passage of the EFCA looming in the horizon, I’ve had to think about what it means to choose union membership. If the EFCA is passed, workplaces may become unionized just by workers signing cards. That’s it. No private ballot, just your signature on a card.

Many people have questioned the freedom in that. Gone is the safety of knowing that no one will ever know where you put that “X” on the ballot. That safety seems to be important, though. It even seems to be important to Congressmen John D. Dingell (D-MI) and Henry Waxman (D-CA) who recently supported a private election in choosing the Chairman of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. This even though they support the passage of the EFCA. (See a letter from the Alliance for Worker Freedom to Representatives Dingell and Waxman here. See how your representative voted here.) Clearly there must be some benefit to having a secret ballot election. But the EFCA supporters have lost sight of that. This new card-check process is going to come at a cost. I wonder whether they can appreciate what that cost might be. I know Congressmen Dingell and Waxman must have an idea.

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Employee Free Choice Act -- Things To Avoid During Union Organizing Campaign

When faced with a union organizing drive, employers are usually quick to react, and begin an informal campaign discouraging employee membership in the union.  However, employers must be mindful of their obligations, and their employees' rights, under the National Labor Relations Act.  When faced with a union organizing campaign, remember to avoid these "TIPS":

T - Threats - Do not threaten employees that there will be a strike or they will lose their jobs because of the union. These are possibilities and must be explained as such.

I - Interrogation - Do not ask how an employee feels or intends to vote on the union question. Do not put him or her in a position where he/she must tell you his/her feelings about a union.

P - Promises - Do not promise any benefit to an employee.  It will be construed as an attempt to buy his or her vote.

S - Surveillance - Do not spy on union meetings or conversation.