Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Another Senator against EFCA 

Senator George Voinovich (R-OH) wrote in Politico last night that he will not support the Employee Free Choice Act. Sen. Voinovich, who is retiring at the end of his current term, had previously opposed EFCA during the 110th Congress (though he has been considered a moderately pro-labor senator during his tenure), so this does not represent a changed vote. His views on the arbitration provisions of EFCA:

"By subjecting either party to binding arbitration outside the terms of an existing agreement, I believe that this legislation conflicts directly with
fundamental tenets of American contract and labor law. Traditionally, the parties come to a meeting of the minds on the contract’s terms and conditions — after significant give and take. Having a third party with the ability to impose terms and conditions that neither party may want turns this long-standing principle on its head.

"As a former mayor and governor, I have been involved in difficult labor negotiations. And while labor negotiations are challenging, in the end they are designed so that both parties obtain an agreement with which they can live.

"As American workers and companies compete in the global economy, our government should be allowing greater, not less, flexibility in the workplace. The arbitration provisions could have exactly the opposite effect by allowing a third-party arbitrator to dictate terms and conditions of a two-year contract that fails to account for the specific conditions of any given situation."

His piece also reviews recent data from the Congressional Research Service that seems to indicate that the existing NLRB process for labor at a company organizing and joining a union is fairly robust:

". . . in the 2005, 2006 and 2007 fiscal years, unions won roughly 55 percent of the NLRB-conducted representation elections, a significant increase from FY1994 and FY1995, when unions won roughly 44 percent of those elections."

EFCA may still be voted upon in the House in some form, but it is getting more and more difficult to see how it would pass the Senate or even get to cloture this year.

UPDATE: Both sides of the EFCA argument on Politico Video. And also from Politico, former "West Wing" actors lobby for EFCA, as life imitates art.

CWCID: Hot Air


Post a Comment

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?