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What Employer Advantage?
Posted By James Sherk On May 11, 2009 @ 11:01 am In Enterprise and Free Markets | 7 Comments
The Washington Post editorialized today  in favor of a compromise on card-check, including snap elections or mandatory union access to company premises, because – they argue – the current process too heavily favors management. They also criticized the Coalition for a Democratic Workplace for refusing to admit this.
So here is a question for the Washington Post: If the current process heavily favors management, why did unions win over two-thirds  of organizing elections last year?
In fact, as I have written before, labor law heavily tilts  the scales in favor of unions during organizing drives:
The law stacks the deck against employers in union drives. And – contrary to union assertions – the overwhelming majority of employers obey the law.  Which is why unions rack up that impressive 2-1 win rate. The Coalition for a Democratic Workplace is right to say that the government should not tilt the playing field even more heavily in union organizer’s favor. That would hurt workers ability to make a free choice.
The economy has changed and made unions less relevant. General representation does not make much sense in an economy that rewards individual skills and abilities. Most non-union workers do not want a union: one recent survey  found that only 9 percent of nonunion workers want to join a union. Unions have not changed to adapt to the modern economy and they are selling a product that most workers do not want to buy.
The only way for unions to organize most companies is if workers never get the chance to hear the other side and learn that, empty union promises aside, organizing won’t actually do much to help them. The goal of the misnamed “Employee Free Choice Act” is to force workers to publicly commit to a union before ever getting to hear the other side. That’s great for union organizing, but not for workers.
These card-check “compromises” have the same goal. Snap elections are intended to deprive workers of an informed choice.  They would force workers to vote after months of campaigning by the union but with only a few weeks to hear the management side. How is that fair, and how does that help workers? Mandatory union access to company premises at staff meetings is intended to deter companies from discussing the downsides of organizing. If an employer doesn’t want the union disrupting their workplace they cannot talk to their employees about why unionizing might not be everything the organizers have promised.
Individual employers do violate the law, and bosses who fire pro-union workers should be punished. But these are the rare exceptions. Labor law heavily stacks the deck in favor of union organizers, which is why unions win two-thirds of organizing elections. The law should not further tilt the playing field to press workers into a commitment that most of them do not want to make.
Article printed from The Foundry: Conservative Policy News Blog from The Heritage Foundation: http://blog.heritage.org
URL to article: http://blog.heritage.org/2009/05/11/what-employer-advantage/
URLs in this post:
 editorialized today: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/05/10/AR2009051001931.html
 win over two-thirds: http://vocuspr.vocus.com/VocusPr30/ViewAttachment.aspx?EID=7GTTSR78QVetYcK5eLvV7olTEIACAn1t61rYNRAwkB0%3d
 heavily tilts: http://www.heritage.org/Research/Labor/wm1421.cfm
 the overwhelming majority of employers obey the law.: http://www.heritage.org/Research/Labor/wm1393.cfm
 one recent survey: http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/business/jobs_employment/just_9_of_non_union_workers_want_to_join_union
 Snap elections are intended to deprive workers of an informed choice.: http://www.heritage.org/Research/Labor/wm2371.cfm
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