Update on Labor Law Reform

The NYT is reportingthat some Democratic Senators are working on a compromise version of labor law reform that would drop card check but inlcude other measures to make organizing fairer and less coercive.  The other measures include quick elections within 5 to 10 days of filing the petition; granting access to the employer’s property to nonemployee union organizers; and a ban on captive adudience meetings, where employers require employees to attend antiunion meetings.  There is some possibility that moderate Republicans may back a compromise version of labor law reform that does not include card check. 

Labor law is incredibly screwed up, so that there is lots of room for compromising on reform while still getting major improvements.  The specific changes discussed in the NYT article, for example, are all good ideas and would improve organizing significantly. 

Quick elections in particular is almost as good as card check.  Most employer antiunion campaigns do not really get off the ground until after the union files the petition and take some time before effectively eroding union support.  With only one or two weeks for employers to campaign against the union, unions’ win rates for elections will improve dramatically. 

Access to employer property and a ban on captive audience meetings will likewise improve unions’ win rates.  A major goal of employer antiunion campaigns is to delegitimizing the union, making it appear weak and ineffective.  Employers do this, in part, by banning the union from the property while permitting its own supervisors and outside union busters to campaign against the union on the property, and by forcing employees to attend antiunion meetings where they are forced to listen to antiunion propaganda and are prohibited from defending the union.  These reforms will make it easier for unions to survive antiunion campaigns.

The NYT article is not completely clear, but it looks like the other non-card check aspects of EFCA will also still be in the compromise version.  So, there will also be greater penalties for firing union supporters and arbitration of first contracts.

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