UPDATE JUNE 17, 2009: EFCA Will Force More Workers Into Failing Union Pensions
From the Examiner:
Private firms could be required to save underfunded union pension plans even if doing so reduces profits and jeopardizes the retirement savings of non-union workers. That’s the consequence of a binding arbitration provision in a proposal now before Congress. The provision is included in the horribly misnamed Employee Free Choice Act (aka Card Check) and may actually be the primary driving force behind the measure, which is described by labor bosses as their top legislative priority for 2009. Card Check abolishes secret balloting voting for employees in workplace representation elections, and mandates that federal arbitrators impose settlements when a company fails to reach an agreement with a newly recognized union within 120 days.
Also from "Workers Deserve A Better Pension":
The union-supported Employee Free Choice Act, now awaiting action in the House of Representatives and the Senate, would, among other provisions, require the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service to set up arbitration panels to craft mandatory two-year contracts between workers and newly-unionized firms, if they cannot come to an agreement on their first collective bargaining contract within 120 days.
Firms could be forced into unproductive agreements, including underfunded pensions, that would whittle away retirement security for workers. Newly-unionized workers could be required to give up their portable 401(k) plan contributions. And under EFCA, rank-and-file workers would not have an opportunity to choose members of the panel, nor would they have recourse to a higher authority, such as the courts, if they were dissatisfied with the contract.
EFCA’s Toxic Arbitration Clause and Failing Union Pensions
In addition to eliminating workers’ right to a secret ballot, the Employee Free-Choice Act’s (EFCA’s) arbitration clause undermines workers’ right to have the final say over the terms and conditions under which they work. Instead, EFCA transfers that power in many cases to unaccountable government arbitrators with no stake in a workable outcome.
EFCA’s Proposed Arbitration Clause:
- Replaces the will of workers with the whims of government arbitrators.
- Section 3 of EFCA empowers government arbitrators to unilaterally “render a decision” after just 120 days of bargaining, thereby dictating contract terms upon workers and employers alike.
- Since most contract negotiations exceed 120 days, the breathtaking toxicity of these arbitration provisions is obvious.
MAY 20TH UPDATE: New AWF Press Release: 16 States Instruct Congressional Delegations: “Vote ‘NO’ on Employee Free Choice Act” (click link to view PDF)
AWF May 2009 Anti-EFCA State Grassroots Campaign Update
Above is the latest update on the AWF state anti-EFCA campaigns (click on image for printable PDF)
AWF sent several press releases and letters to state media, state legislators, and the federal delegation of the states. Please see the below releases/letters for more information:
Why is Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) still supporting Card Check (even when Sen Lincoln (D-Ark.) is opposed?
With Sen. Lincoln (D-Ark.) recently announcing that she will vote no on cloture for the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA), we are wondering why her colleague Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) is continuing to say that he will support the cloture motion to move this bill forward?
Sen. Lincoln said recently:
"I cannot support that bill," Lincoln said, according to one attendee. "Cannot support that bill in its current form. Cannot support and will not support moving it forward in its current form."
However, her colleague continues to support taking away a workers right to a federally supervised private ballot election when voting on unionization. Correspondence being sent out by Sen. Warner’s office reads:
"I believe there is a need for reform in this area, and that EFCA should be debated and voted upon by the Senate. I intend to evaluate any prevailing proposal to ensure that it allows workers and employers to be adequately informed and that it ultimately provides a fair and level playing field for both management and labor."
Really? Sen. Warner believes that a bill that will cost 600,000 jobs in 2010 alone and will give unions the right to use intimidation and violence to force workers to sign a card needs to be "debated and voted upon?"
The Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA), introduced on Tuesday, March 10th at noon, will disenfranchise workers by taking away their right to a private ballot when voting on union membership. But that’s not all.
03/15/09 UPDATE: On the heels of a national conference call held on Friday, March 13th, by the Alliance for Worker Freedom several additional states have introduced and/or passed anti-EFCA state resolutions.
States that have passed the resolution: AL, GA, MI, MS, OK, SC, and WA
The states that we have introduced resolutions: AK, ID, KS, MO, NE, NV, PA, TX & WV.
States that we have legislative commitments from: DE, KY, LA, MN and UT.
States that we have made progress in but still need legislative commitments: FL, TN.
Target states that we still need commitments from: WY
What are leading Democrats saying about "card check"?
“I think the secret ballot is pretty important in this country…I’m against card check – to make a perfectly flat statement” – Warren Buffet, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, on CNBC 03/09/09
“I’ve reviewed the facts on both sides; this proposed law [the Employee Free Choice Act] cannot be justified.” – Sen. George McGovern, former Democratic Presidential Candidate 1972, TV ad
“What I don’t understand about it, which is why I’m in the campaign is why wouldn’t those of us who support workers being protected, why would we not want their privacy protected. I mean why would we want them opened up to this kind of possible coercion?” – Revered Al Sharpton on Charlie King’s radio show on National Action Network, 12/17/08
Recent articles surrounding the Employee Free Choice Act have focused on it’s likelyhood of passing the Senate. A recent statement by the AFL-CIO legislative director Bill Sammuel tells reporters that the unions have the votes needed to pass card check. However, the Alliance for Worker Freedom, a special project of ATR disagrees.
A recent study shows that 600,000 jobs could be lost as a result of passing EFCA.
New polling indications that 74% of rank-and-file union workers oppose EFCA.
Yet Obama thinks this is good for the economy?
AWF issued a press release questioning the unions assertion that they have 60 votres. However, on mere mention of the bill being introduced on Tuesday, the markets have already begun to fall. What does the Obama-Pelosi-Reid Troika think will happen once it gets introduced?
ATR has partnered with AWF to introduce anti-EFCA resolutions in state legislative bodies that instruct the federal delegation of that state to oppose cloture and final passage. You can find an update on these efforts at www.workerfreedom.org.