published Saturday, June 25th, 2011

A gift to unions

The Democrat-run National Labor Relations Board, which is supposed to be impartial in labor disputes, is trying to give a huge gift to the Obama administration’s allies in Big Labor.

The NLRB has proposed sharply reducing the length of time between the filing of a petition for a vote on whether to unionize a workplace, and the vote itself.

But the current time from the filing of a petition to the vote is already short. The NLRB acknowledged that a mere 38 days is the median wait time. That means half the votes take place before 38 days, and half take place after. Plus, virtually all unionization votes are held no later than 56 days after the petitions are filed. Those are hardly unreasonable waits.

And there is a good reason for having a delay between the filing of a petition for a unionization vote and the vote itself. It gives employees time to consider more fully both the pros and cons of a union. Ramming a vote through at a fast pace would undercut workers’ ability to determine whether a union is desirable.

What seems to trouble Big Labor and the NLRB is that American workers are avoiding unions in record numbers. Unionization has plunged today to only 6.9 percent of private-sector workers. Only 11.9 percent of all workers — in private and government employment combined — are unionized, and a majority of those are in government, where unions should not be permitted in the first place.

The NLRB’s proposal to cut wait times before unionization votes are held is an obvious effort to shore up Democrats’ union support. Big Labor provides massive campaign donations, with most such financing going to Democrats.

That is not a good reason to tinker with the system under which workers vote on whether to form a union.

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hambone said...

A longer waiting period gives employers more time to coerce, intimidate and threaten employees.

June 25, 2011 at 1:18 p.m.
JoeHill said...

I like how many people use the declining numbers in union density to claim that people don't want to join unions. It doesn't necessarily follow. As Hambone points out, many employers coerce, intimidate and threaten employees who dare to utter the word, "union." They even use union avoidance consultants who coach them on manipulating the current process of certifying unions for the purpose of keeping unions out.

The low union density numbers are also manifestations of the corrosion of the rust belt as previously unionized manufacturers have shut down to go overseas, to Mexico, or to an increasing number of right to work states, where employees have the right to work for low wages, less benefits, and, when available, with weaker unions.

The truth is out there, in spite of the propaganda in this editorial. Pollers track desire for union representation and according to the polls, Americans desire unions as much as Canadians do, which is a majority, yet we have far fewer unionized workers than Canada as Canada's citizens currently enjoy a greater degree of freedom from coercion and propaganda from their employers to unionize.

And we are the land of the free, huh?

June 25, 2011 at 2:51 p.m.
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