All Posts Tagged With: "business"
I’m not sure how many of you in the Agora are following the card check legislation, also known as the Employee Free Choice Act. This is an epic battle between labor unions and business. The EFCA would simplify the process of forming a union by allowing a majority of workers to sign a card supporting a union, rather than voting on unionization. It also includes binding arbitration provisions, and increased penalties, but most of the media focus is on “card check.” This eliminates the company’s opportunity to launch a campaign against unionizing, or take affirmative steps to address the needs of workers to preclude the need to unionize. Big business has chosen the secret ballot as the symbol of their battle, which I consider a mistake. I think a well reasoned explanation of practical objections, particularly those based on current economic circumstances, would be a better way to sway public opinion, in part because explanations of the current unionization regime don’t seem particularly unreasonable in the public mind.
Recently Sen. Specter, a moderate, endangered Republican, stated he will not vote for cloture to bring the card check vote to the floor. Now a compromise proposal is being floated, but both main interest groups are opposing it. All along both groups have vowed that no compromise would be acceptable. I suspect that position will hold, at least through 2009. But the reason isn’t Arlen Specter.
In the media we may hear lots of stories about why the bill is held back. The story may center on specific moderate Senators, or we may hear a narrative about how the EFCA is too bloody of a battle to fight now when we are facing economic disaster, or that the Dems are waiting for Frankin, or that unions need to wait for the economy to recover to weaken the business’s gloom and doom predictions. But what’s really going on? It all comes down to money. This is the kind of fight that employs a great many lobbyists, many of whom have less and less other paying work due to clients cutting their lobbying budget or being unable to pay their bills. Too many people on both sides are getting paid for anyone to want to draw thier guns. Why fight the war when after it’s waged the retainer checks will stop coming in? And until the vote takes place, both unions and business groups will stay especially interested in fundraisers for moderate, endangered members like Specter.
As promised, here’s a column on how to survive the next decade meant for Millennials and late Gen-X who have based their future plans on the indefinite continuation of prosperity and importance of college-taught skills. Read more…