Friday, March 02, 2007

Employee Free Choice Act passes

Or more accurately, the Abolition of Secret Ballots passes. Get ready for a knock on your door and some tough-looking organizers urging you to sign the card "for your own good. Oh that's a beautiful daughter you have there. Be a shame if anything happened to her."

The main reason cited by supporters of this law is that employers can intimidate employees during the long drawn out affair known as an election. Employers also face way too light penalties for firing workers attempting to organize. Fair enough. Increase the penalties! The current penalty is a year's wages. Make it so that every employee fired for organizing becomes a millionaire. But don't force workers to have to tell organizers no to their faces.

Also, will there be full disclosure here? Currently, a person who signs a card thinks they are doing it to support an election later. Just as I sign petitions to get things on the ballot in my state even though I don't necessarily support them, I could see signing a card in order to support the right of my fellow workers to decide whether to organize or not.

Between the intimidation(currently estimated at around 12% of workers by organizers) and people not being fully aware that they are making an irrevocable decision, we're going to see plenty of unions formed with far less than majority support.

Well, we would if it got signed into law, which isn't going to happen, thank goodness.

After Democrats lose this battle, they should go back to the drawing board and increase penalties for businesses firing workers attempting to organize. Almost no one would be against that other than businesses who don't want to play fair. It would be a political victory if Bush had to veto it. Considering how reluctant Bush is to use his veto pen, I'm not sure if he even would.