Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The Employer Oppression Act

Oops, I'm sorry ... I meant the Employee Free Choice Act ("EFCA"). Now that Mr. Obama has been elected, EFCA is likely to be high on his list of priorities. I verily believe that EFCA is one of the most insidious pieces of legislation to be proposed in quite some time. It's sort of like a stuffed teddy bear in a horror movie; all nice and cuddly on the outside, but giving no hint of the terrible evil within.

EFCA is a bill supported by organized labor which does away with secret ballot elections conducted and monitored by the NLRB in favor of a majority showing of union authorization cards. Essentially, it imposes compulsory unionism which may violate the National Labor Relations Act as well as Constitutional protections to freedom of association. Much has been written about the dubious tactics used by organized labor to "convince" workers to sign authorization cards. That issue is ameliorated somewhat under current law by permitting both a union and an employer to conduct informational election campaigns culminating in a secret ballot election held by the NLRB. EFCA would not only change the current landscape drastically, but would prevent employers from challenging the voluntary nature of worker authorization cards.

Given the election results, I predict that EFCA will be a hot topic in the coming months. It's high on the agenda of organized labor and, of course, payback from Mr. Obama will be expected in exchange for all the support given to him during the campaign. Employers had better worry about EFCA, big time! If enacted in its current form, EFCA is likely to cause severe economic hardships to employers with many of them going out of business or reducing their workforces due to: (a) the skryocketing cost of contractually mandated and inflated union wages and benefits.; (b) restrictive union work rules; and/or (c) a combination of both. Such an unfortunate situation would make good fodder for a horror movie remake which I call "A Nightmare on Main Street."

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