Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Employee Free Choice Act

Soon to be up for consideration in Congress is the Employee Free Choice Act. According to the Huffington Post, Big Labor is "very pleased" that President Obama has been more outspoken in his support for the bill.

However, Larry Summers, Secretary of the Treasury under president Bill Clinton, and now head of the White House's National Economic Council for President Barack Obama, once wrote,
"Another cause of long-term unemployment is unionization. High union wages that exceed the competitive market rate are likely to cause job losses in the unionized sector of the economy. Also, those who lose high-wage union jobs are often reluctant to accept alternative low-wage employment."
The "Free Choice" act would make unionizing much easier because among other things it would remove the requirement of secret ballots. According to Harvard economist Greg Mankiw that means, "union organizers would be able to use strong-arm tactics to get workers to say they support a union, even when privately the workers don't."

"Causes long-term unemployment" + "strong-arm tactics" doesn't seem to bode well...


Anonymous said...

As opposed to corporations and business owners using strong arm tactics to get them NOT to unionize.

Your self defeating allegiances are showing.

Cameron said...

So you trade one supposedly strong arm tactic for another? I don't get the logic.

Cameron said...

Not to mention the fact that President Obama's lead economic adviser wrote that unions lead to long-term unemployment.

Charles D said...

Comments such as these are the reason I am disturbed that Obama has chosen Summers as an economic adviser. Summers not only did not predict the current crisis, he was a cheerleader for the investment bankers who got us into this mess.

EFCA simply gives workers the same right as management to determine how the certification process will go forward. Currently management can and usually does demand a secret ballot - not to protect the workers - but to give themselves ample opportunity to bring in union-avoidance consultants and try to coerce workers to vote against the union. If the majority of workers have signed cards, then there is no need for an election - we already know the outcome. It is not union organizers who are using strong-arm tactics, it is management.

An increase in unionization will distribute more wealth to ordinary workers who will spend it and spur the economy forward. EFCA will be a stimulus to the economy.