Jottings By An Employer's Lawyer

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Labor Day, A Day After - Should We Put This To A Vote?

Any thoughts on how the following legislative finding might fare in today's Congress?
It is hereby declared to be the policy of the United States to eliminate the causes of certain substantial obstructions to the free flow of commerce and to mitigate and eliminate these obstructions when they have occurred by encouraging the practice and procedure of collective bargaining and by protecting the exercise by workers of full freedom of association, self-organization, and designation of representatives of their own choosing, for the purpose of negotiating the terms and conditions of their employment or other mutual aid or protection.

And if we wanted a second proposition to vote on, does the following stand up?
The inequality of bargaining power between employees who do not possess full freedom of association or actual liberty of contract, and employers who are organized in the corporate or other forms of ownership association substantially burdens and affects the flow of commerce, and tends to aggravate recurrent business depressions, by depressing wage rates and the purchasing power of wage earners in industry and by preventing the stabilization of competitive wage rates and working conditions within and between industries.
I think the answer is self-evident. The chances of passage of either is nil.

Still they do currently reflect what is the stated policy of the United States as contained in the existing National Labor Relations Act.

I hate to add to the burdens of our already strained political system, which quite frankly does not look as if it can solve any of its too many pressing problems, but at some point, we need to come to a concensus on what we want our labor policy to be.

For too long now, the political attention paid to the NLRB has been one of neglect and acceptance of the fact that with each political turn we should anticipate the wholesale reversal of "established" law. That has happened with the Obama Board, as it happened with the Bush Boards, as it happened with the Clinton Board etc.

When you can't agree on what the policy should be, it is ludicrous to think that the current one is apt to be successfully implemented.

Regrettably, I think that is something all should be able to agree on.


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