A government takeover plan

the Employee Free Choice Act

April 06, 2009|By James Sherk

The misnamed Employee Free Choice Act does more than effectively eliminate workers' rights to a secret ballot vote on joining a union. It gives government officials the power to impose contracts on workers and firms.

EFCA replaces good-faith bargaining with government-imposed contracts. This government-imposed arbitration radically departs from the foundation of the collective bargaining process: the principle of mutual consent. In place of the agreement of both parties, government arbitrators would simply impose working conditions on employers and employees, whether such conditions are workable or not.

Under current law, workers can vote down a contract they do not support. Workers also have the right to honor a strike or to refrain from striking. All of these rights give workers some degree of autonomy and control over the union and their workplace. With imposed contracts in place, however, these rights disappear.

EFCA does more than take away workers rights to vote in privacy. It also gives control of the workplace to government bureaucrats. Government officials would write the collective bargaining agreements of most newly organized companies. The government would set not just wages and benefits but all business operations that significantly affect workers, such as promotion procedures, retirement plans, health benefits, subcontracting, mergers, work assignments, even the machines used to run a plant. Employers would lose the ability to pursue their business strategies, and workers would lose all say about their workplace for two years. EFCA effectively constitutes a government takeover of America's workplaces.

This is a shortened version of an article that James Sherk wrote for heritage.org.

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