Friday, August 9, 2013
In this regard, he has posted on his blog, Charles J. Morris on Labor Relations, a warm-up for that prospect. The post is entitled: Members-Only Collective Bargaining: Get Ready for an Old Concept for a New Use, and the full version of his post is available on Charlie's blog.
Here's a taste of Charlie's post:
It is especially important that the AFL-CIO and other participants in American labor relations become better acquainted with the concept of members-only collective bargaining because the National Labor Relations Board will likely be considering that process in the near future. Validation of this innovative process can be of immense help in getting American workers back on the road to a robust labor movement and a major expansion of collective bargaining that will help build a stronger middle class.
The need for such a process has been dramatically evidenced by recent work stoppages at various Wal-Mart and fast-food locations. Although those walk-outs represent commendable examples of courageous workers fighting back, they will inevitably be unsuccessful in achieving significant change. Despite their legitimate complaints, those low-wage workers have no effective mean to engage management in a dialogue about working conditions―much less in a consequential bargaining session that might significantly improve those conditions.
They obviously need a union; but in accordance with prevailing conditions under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA or Act), union representation is virtually unavailable to them and to most other American workers. The sad fact is that Wal-Mart and other anti-union companies are almost always able to prevent their employees from achieving union representation. Many―if not most― nonunion companies routinely indoctrinate their workforce with anti-union rhetoric and frequently engage in aggressive conduct—both legal and illegal—to successfully discourage any support for workers organizing into groups for any purpose. Employment discrimination and discharges for union activity, and the fear of such retaliation, are commonplace.
As Charlie points out, this is the same piece that he submitted to the AFL-CIO in its search for new ways of rebuilding the labor movement and collective bargaining. Charlie is the master on this topic and I highly recommend that those looking for alternatives to increase worker voice in the American workplace give serious consideration to Charlie's proposals.