Jottings By An Employer's Lawyer

Thursday, December 11, 2008

EFCA - Voting "At a Time Certain"


There are plenty of individuals writing on the EFCA, so I have not devoted a lot of attention to it. My general view is that while it addresses issues for which a strong case for some change can be made, that it does so by totally revising long held principles of labor law, without a recognition that is what is being done, and without an analysis of what the consequences could be.

There is no question where the writers at Laboring Away at the Institute stand, they think it is a very flawed bill. Still that does not undercut the validity of the argument advanced in a post that nearly got lost in my post-Thanksgiving reading, Any Given Moment.

The premise is that deciding whether a union should represent you in your workplace is an important decision, which is hardly controversial. The article goes on to point out the danger of shifting from a secret ballot at a set time to allowing the decision to be made in a series of "any given moments" which may not be the most appropriate time for such an important decision.

You need to read the whole article, but to give you a feel, here's the money paragraph to me:

For me, more important than that [that so many things in America are decided by secret ballot], and perhaps lost in this legislation is the fact that we vote not in a moment in time, but at a time certain. Could any legislator survive if we could vote on April 15th? Our most important decisions must be made with careful consideration of all of the facts, and at a time and place that offers the most potential for a sober and just decision.

A pretty compelling point, without an ounce of union bashing.

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Comments:
This notion of voting at a time certain may have some validity.

However, the same notion would be an argument to stop early voting in general elections. I once held the position against early voting for some of the same arguments stated here.

My stand against the voting by signature cards, is framed by the venue issue. When a person is approached to sign a card there may be individual coercion at that moment, overt or implied. There are no independent observers at the "voting site" where the card is signed or not.

Also, that the opponent has no opportunity to campaign.
 
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