|Jottings By An Employer's Lawyer|
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Others Agree -- It's the Arbitration That's Important (But Can't We Get the Facts Right On the Card Check Portion?)
The suits seem nearly giddy over their apparent first-round public relations win against Big Labor over legislation expanding union organizing powers.Instead as if channeling my earlier post, Cummings points out the real problem for business may well be the binding arbitration provision:
Rather than either of us channeling the other, I think we were both just reporting on what anyone who is knowledgeable about the bill knows.
What I don't get is Cummings', or numerous other journalists, willingness to repeat a statement about the card check aspect of the bill that I think is just inaccurate. Here is what she says:
The legislation doesn’t prohibit the traditional process of elections and secret ballots. If a majority of workers want to proceed that way, they still could.I know something about this, I have read the Act, and I think that statement is just wrong. I would appreciate Cummings, or anyone else for that mattter, explaining to me why it is a true statement.
As resource material, here is the complete text of S. 560 EFCA as introduced in the Senate.
This is the card check section, Streamlining Union Certification:
Clearly, if a majority sign authorization cards, EFCA as now drafted says -- NO ELECTION.
Now, if Cummings' argument is the nuanced one that an election will be held if more than 30, but less than 50% have signed authorization cards at the time the petition is filed, I would agree that would be a true statement, but although as set out in this post, likely still misleading.
I actually have written Cummings at Politico asking her to explain why her statement in her article is an accurate statement and hopefully she or others will respond.
I think the debate about EFCA is a very important, and clearly one on which people of good faith will have different view points, but it would be nice if we could at least agree on what the law as drafted provides when it is straightforward and not open to interpretation (at least as I read it.) And anyone (certainly including me) writing on this issue should get the basic facts straight.
On a slightly different (and certainly a less ranting) note, for those interested in the horse race aspects, check out this in depth review of where 23 key Senators might stand on not only supporting EFCA itself, but more importantly on the issue which will really determine its fate, whether to vote to invoke cloture. See EFCA: Counting the votes at Campaign Diaries.
Update: Ivan Osorio at OpenMarket.org was ahead of me on calling Cummings out on the above paragraph. See, With news coverage like this ...