Thursday, May 14, 2009

EFCA Compromises That Aren't Worth Pursuing

Everyone's Least Favorite Democrat Not Named Evan Bayh is working out an EFCA "compromise". Said "compromise" faces the fact that Specter opposes both the card check and the arbitration provisions. Replacing card check with more rapid elections sounds like a modest concession, but dumping the arbitration requirements would hollow out the bill. Currently, once a union is certified, they have one year to negotiate a contract. If they fail, they must re-run the entire organizing campaign, getting pro-union cards from 30% of workers, holding an election, etc. Therefore management has tremendous incentive to stall negotiations. In fact, over 44% of newly certified workplaces fail to earn a contract. It's probably more important to tweak labor policy to get more unions through this second step of the unionization process than it is to get more unions through the first stip, only to have them fail at the second.

Andy Stern and his friends are hunting for compromises, but they are not stupid. If arbitration gets tossed, the bill should be voted down, and he should fund Joe Sestak.
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