Monday, April 6, 2009

Possible EFCA Compromise

NLRB My predictions are so rarely correct, but it looks like my sense that EFCA would have to be amended as part of a compromise if it were to pass is coming to fruition.  BNA's Daily Labor Report (subscription required) is reporting that Senate Democratic aides are now working to craft a compromise that could pass in the face of recent opposition to the original bill.  The details aren't out, but BNA is saying that one of the compromises being floated would require the use of dual-purpose-like cards, offering the employee a choice of selecting the union or simply asking for an election.  The cards could also be mailed in.

Stay tuned.


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That really isn't much of an improvement. In the normal course of events, the employee would be subject to the same peer pressure to check the "correct" box and hand back the card that he or she would face under the original proposal. From the article it appears that some supporter just ran this idea up the flagpole to see if anyone saluted. A better basis for compromise legislation would be some combination of increased penalties for ULPs and more access for organizers, as suggested by several of the Democratic senators who bailed out on EFCA this time around (seven in all, according to news reports).

Even if supporters are willing to take that quarter of a loaf, positions on labor law changes are so hardened by the EFCA struggle that it might still be hard to pass. Recall that the last big push for wholesale labor law changes came during the Carter administration. When the hardline bill was headed for defeat, proponents watered it down to the point where there wasn't much left, only to fall two votes short on closure. Like the earlier effort to repeal Section 14(b) and the later effort to limit strike replacements, unions committed a serious tactical error in seeking too much, thus stirring up solid opposition that then prevented even modest changes.

Posted by: Dennis Nolan | Apr 6, 2009 1:20:54 PM

Events on the ground will drive the law, not the reverse.

Posted by: Michael Duff | Apr 7, 2009 6:59:12 AM

Thinking Otside The Box to Get The Employee Free Choice Act Passed.

For those who read my blog the dual membership card was one of my suggestions I came up with in early January titled: Amending The Employee Free Choice Act. A Compromise Every Union Can Live With.

Posted by: EFCANOW | Apr 7, 2009 7:56:33 AM

EFCANOW: I wondered where the idea of a dual-choice card came from. You do see the irony, don't you, in the idea of having a non-secret ballot in order to decide whether to have a secret ballot?

Posted by: Dennis Nolan | Apr 7, 2009 1:43:24 PM

Let's stop with the disingenous critiques of labor's political efforts by folks who are substantively opposed to the bill as is. Professors, arbitrators and other pundits who have never experienced a modern organizing campaign first hand bring little to this debate. I don't think they realize that those of us on the front lines have already thought about, debated, and rejected all of the so-called "compromises" they are now recommending.

Posted by: BobG | Apr 7, 2009 5:57:58 PM


How does the dual purpose card differ than a petition?

If you don't want others to know, you don't sign, or you mail the card in. With a petition they still know if you sign/or do not sign when they put it in front of you.

I can dig the dual purpose card idea.

Posted by: Per Son | Apr 9, 2009 8:58:34 AM

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