Democrats, according to the New York Times, have dropped the card-check provision from the job-destroying Employee Free Choice Act. The Times reports:
“A half-dozen senators friendly to labor have decided to drop a central provision of a bill that would have made it easier to organize workers.”
The Huffington Post (which has its contacts with union bosses) is stating:
“Moderate Democrats have forced a key compromise to the Employee Free Choice Act, which removes one of the labor community’s most cherished provisions from the bill.”
The compromise legislation, as described to the Huffington Post, will contain several major labor priorities including requiring shorter time periods for a union election and containing some form of binding arbitration to prevent employers from dragging out a contract negotiation process. The measures, according to AFL-CIO spokesman Eddie Vale, will let workers choose to join a union without intimidation, ensure that those who join a union get a first contract, and institute meaningful penalties for violations of labor law.
“No matter what, this is still HUGE labor law reform,” emailed one union official.
“There is no official or final deal, negotiations are still ongoing,” said another union hand. “We’re going to pass a bill that is the biggest reform of labor law since the Wagner Act.”
Still, the removal of the card-check provision is a shot in the gut to a labor community that saw in the Democratic Congress and the Obama White House, the conduits they needed to pass their legislative priorities. While Sen. Al Franken’s seating in Minnesota provided the party with a 60th caucusing member to beat back a GOP filibuster attempt, moderates like Sens. Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.), Diane Feinstein (D-Calif.), Arlen Specter (D-Penn.) and others had expressed skepticism, if not downright opposition, to EFCA’s original incarnation.
In conversations with reporters, union officials are insisting that this is the natural process by which a bill becomes law. They also aren’t officially dropping the conversation on a majority sign up.
What this means, dear readers, is that union bosses are still pushing binding arbitration which, as we’ve written, puts workers on the path to serfdom:
Under the oxymoronically-named 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.
According to the Times’ report:
“This bill will bring about dramatic changes, even if card check has fallen away,” said an A.F.L.-C.I.O. official who insisted on anonymity.
The official said the revised bill achieves the three things organized labor has been seeking.
“Our goals,” the official said, “have always been letting employees have a real choice, having real penalties against employers who break the law in fighting unions, and having some form of binding arbitration to prevent employers from dragging their feet forever to prevent reaching a contract.”
Despite this huge development, the fight against this job-destroying legislation is not over, as “labor leaders acknowledged an additional hurdle: two powerful Democrats, Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts and Robert C. Byrd of West Virginia, are seriously ill.”
Be sure to stay tuned to LaborUnionReport.com through the weekend, as we will be posting articles as they come in. In addition, be sure to check the site for additional articles on the government’s efforts to nationalize our health care system.
With Best Wishes for a Great Weekend!