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  • Why Unions Are Decertifying

    Sen. Arlen Specter, who opposed the misnamed Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) when he was a Republican, recently announced that he has flip-flopped on the issue and will now be supporting EFCA-lite. As Specter described it, the latest version of the bill drops the card-check provision that has attracted so much controversy. This is a victory for workers who will not lose their right to a secret ballot. Unfortunately, the new EFCA replaces card-check with snap elections, which are intended to deprive employees of an informed choice.

    Instead of a traditional campaign, which usually lasts five to six weeks, where workers hear from both employers and unions on the advantages and disadvantages of unionizing, EFCA-lite would require workers to vote on unionizing within days of the union filing its petition. So workers would hear the union case for months, while only getting a few days to hear the employer rebuttal. The point is to push workers into voting for the union before they have a chance to reconsider.

    Why would unions be so eager to do that? Perhaps because they know that if workers hear both sides they may discover that unions are not all that organizers make them out to be. That just happened in Charleston, S.C. where the workers at a Boeing assembly plant voted to decertify the International Association of Machinists. By a 3 to 1 margin the once unionized employees voted to become nonunion.

    Why would workers do that? Perhaps the union wasn’t providing them with the benefits they were promised in the organizing campaign two years ago. Or perhaps because they realized that unions harm the competitiveness of the facilities they organize and they wanted to protect their jobs during this tough economy. Congress shouldn’t rush workers into voting for a union – with its upsides and downsides – until they have had the time to make an informed choice.

    Posted in Economics [slideshow_deploy]

    21 Responses to Why Unions Are Decertifying

    1. Bill San Antonio TX says:

      Instead of establishing multiple, fundamentally sound programs that reinforce each other, what we are seeing is a checklist of campaign payback items that only reinforce the march to socialism at the expense of the entreprenuer and small businesses AND ultimately, the middle class, who make up the majority of the population.

      This is exactly as planned. This is why Americans of all political parties better be very very careful what they wish for.

      It may taste sweet for some, in the short run, but you will want to spit it out – in the long run.

    2. marcia says:

      bravo bill! you are exactly right!

    3. Bobbie Jay says:

      Since government is telling businesses what they can and can't do eliminates the need of unions altogether. The employee shouldn't be obligated to pay for both, especially when unions work with government. Kind of defeats a purpose doesn't it?

    4. Dean, Dallas says:

      I agree with Bobbi. With government running the businesses, a union to protect employees is redundant and a waste of time and money and excessive buereaucracy. Furthermore, the unions are mainly what ruined most companies finances in the first place. Employee benefits, pay, etc. should directly be tied to company performance and not guaranteed in any way in spite of poor company performance.

    5. David A. White says:

      The comment about the time frame for the workers to make their minds up about whether they want a union or not is to the advantage of the unions is not true. If a worker at a company spends any time at all at that workplace, then they should know if they would benefit from a union. The American people are scared of unions and it is because of greed. Most are scared that it will cut down on profits and the employeer will lose power. Sad to say the only people who like unions are union members.

    6. Lloyd Scallan - New says:

      This is not 1940's or '50's. Perhaps, I say again,

      "perhaps" unions did help the average workers with

      wage increases and working condition. But, like

      a used can of a product, unions do nothing but

      clutter up our country and in many cases destroy

      the good things. Unions have out-lived their usefulness. As a matter of fact, take a good look

      at indurtries and occupations that no longer exist

      because of the outragious demands made by unions to managements. How much of union dues went to the Obama campaign? These dues were given by union officals, not the rank and file. In many cases, the average union member did not agree with the officals. They voted AGAINST Obama. The union bosses push support for Obama because of what they get back in return for betraying there

      membership. Can anyone imagine what will result

      if unions get what they want from the Dems?

    7. Sid - Montgomery, Al says:

      Politicians, through their pointless enterprise of ambition, along with unions, have dismantled the once greatest industrial nation on the entire planet. Where are the once thriving steel makers, auto manufacturers and textile mills? Politicians with opressive regulation and taxation, along with unions and their unreasonable expectations, have driven them away or detroyed them altogether. My father was a union member and worked for U.S. Steel – I know first hand. The American people are not afraid of unions, just the harm they do. It is rather simple – one works for reasonable wages, or one is unemployed. Apparently union members do not understand simple economics and choose to adopt the misguided philosophies of their leadership – like lambs to the slaughter.

    8. Jules, Battlefield says:

      I agree with all of you. Sid, you have it right on, the unions are no longer needed in this country. The government has regulated most businesses into the dirt at this point. The unions are not conducive, in conjunction with the government, have just about killed off the productiveness of this country. The members, for the most part, still belong to the unions out of fear of the unions and their thug leaders. The mob is alive and well in the unions.

    9. ramblue, wichita, ks says:

      An office union was decertified here 2 years ago. We have better benefits and no union to split the work force. Now that we are non-union there is a better chance of the jobs staying here.

    10. Dennis A. Social Cir says:

      The big unions have been the down fall of this country and business. They need to be disbared from forming. We all know that the dems and obama are in debt to these unions and will have to pay the debt off to them, they will force this on the American worker just as they are forceing healthcare on us. VOTE IN 2010 AND PUT THESE PEOPLE ON THE STREET WHERE THEY BELONG!!!!

    11. Bill San Antonio TX says:

      All good points.

      What about "closed shop" unions which keep people out to keep wages up for those already in?

      What about "the who you know angle" to even get into some trades?

      While there was historical purpose for unionizing. How is now fair to put 10 Bil into a union pension fund and give them preferential treatment and the often quoted "seat at the table"?

      It appears they have the entire table and ear of this administration. Rules for Radicals by Saul Alinsky covers all of this stuff.

      Please read it! They are furious that some of Saul's tactics are now being used against them.

    12. John Roane Sarasota says:

      Let the market play out. Unions, some are good and some not. Let the individual make his choice. Union members can dump unions if they wish. So why is everyone so upset?

      The marketplace will balance everything. Remember the old adage "You will reap what you so". It still works today.

    13. Lynn B. DeSpain says:

      Originaly, Union were a very imoprtant part of creating Middle Class America. Prior to Unions America had Child Labor, 14 to 16 hour work days, 6 to 7 days a week. All with very little pay. There was a great division in America between the very few Rich and the great many poor.

      Do not look upon Unions as a Bad Thing, for they are not. However, always be cautious of anything that deviates from the basic purpose of a union membership, which is to bring the workers and the owners together, with open books, agree on "Fair Profits", Fair Wages", and 'Benefits" affordable to all. No Union Member is so stupid as to believe it is the duty of the owners to keep a business running at a pure profit less than they could earn simply by placing their assets in the bank. Nor is any owner so stupid as to think that alienating his workers is a good way to keep valuable trained employees.

      Lokk to the Politicians who say Unions are Bad or Unions are Good and search out what their motives are for saying so.


    14. Jack Harper Brookha says:

      I am 75 years old and have worked at a lot of places both union and non, unionization is not what it used to mean, especialy when they have a bunch like we now have in power. I worked at the old Scott Paper Co. in Chester Pa. both before and after the union got in, believe me it was a far better place to work before the union,(no I did not vote for the union). And was sorry to see it come!!!!

    15. Ross writes from B says:

      Todays unions teach their workers to be mediocre, don't show up your brother, don't try to out perform everybody else, do minimal or less(as long as you don't get caught)work as outlined in the union contract. Don't encourage change or upgradings that will make the company more efficent and profitable but could possibly cost union jobs. That is not a healthy atmosphere for people who want to make a difference.

      When I think of unions, I think violence, corruption, mobsters, and bullies.

      When I think unions, I think paying union dues, struggling workers(like teacher union members, auto worker members, railroad workers members,etc.) and their national leaders "wheeling-n-dealing" like Robber Baron of 19th century America trading money for votes with politicians.

      When I think unions, I think corruption, gangsters, and politicians.

      When I think unions, I always think Democrat instantly and vis-a-versa.

      When I think unions, I always think Socialist.

      It seems today's unions are but parasites on American society, its productivity, its growth, its competitiveness, if not our God-given liberties. Individual liberties and the philosphies of unionism does not mesh with the American constitution. Why is that?

    16. Jerry from Chicago says:

      All employers need to is to point to the great success of the United Auto Workers union, the United Steel Workers union and the United Airline Workers union.

      When union organizers point to the great pay and the great benefits that the unions get for their members, employers may want to remind employees of the great job security (?) that goes along with all this.

    17. Steve,South Carolina says:

      Any of the previous union supporters obviously cannot remember who is subsidizing the " Big 3". Labor unions were twisted by corruption to cripple capitalism. I hope the remaining unions get ousted from SC soon.

    18. Bill San Antonio TX says:

      Dear John Roane of Sarasota,

      There will not be a "market place" as we now know it. And, what if the individual no longer has a "choice"?

      The only thing that is playing out is the continuous onslaught of new programs, bigger government, less capital for the private sector.

      Jeez! Look around at what is happening and happening fast! There is a reason for this.

      What do you think that reason is John?

    19. Ben Franklin, IN says:

      Bottom line, the task of the Union is to help the workers become more valuable to the company. There are two ways to do that: education, training, and skills development on the one hand; limiting competition and restrictive work rules on the other. The second is easier.

    20. Marshall,Michigan says:

      The neccessity for Unions is very small, when given all the Labor Laws now in force!

    21. Earl, Queens, NY says:

      It’s hard to find a union that’s really fair for both employees and employers. On one hand, there’s the UAW which, along with absurd government regulation, ruined the Big 3 automakers. The 4 union jobs which I had were the opposite – the short end of the stick for workers. In one case we actually had better pay and benefits when we were non-union than 10 years later after they (I voted against) voted in the union. In a more recent job when I lived in Connecticut, we really got the shaft after an unfair labor practices strike. Although the NLRB ruled in favor of the union, the union sold out on us, and presumably due to collusion we never got our jobs back. And while this union was taking dues out of our substandard wages, its officials were collecting multiple salaries, sitting at desks and driving silver Cadillacs. If some workers want to squander their money on these parasite unions, that’s their right. But I also say that all workers should have the ‘right-to-work’ without paying dues as a condition of employment.

      Unions often lash out at Walmart. However, just 3 years ago I was in a union shop position paying less than Walmart. I also knew of a major supermarket in CT paying only minimum wage, despite the fact that you had to join the same lousy union we had!! Even if Walmart doesn’t pay a whole lot more, at least you get to keep more of what you earn. That is, unless you’re in a right-to-work state, union dues are like an addition to the already high taxes you must pay.

      Instead of EFCA, we need other reforms – i.e., make right-to-work a federal law. And make it easier to decertify unions without being thwarted by union officials who file frivolous unfair labor practice charges. Companies should also be allowed to offer better wages and benefits to workers who opt out of the union, without having to move jobs to non-union locations.

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