Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Big Labor and The Ultimate Anti-Stimulus Plan

President Obama and his advisers insist that they place national economic recovery over every other policy objective. However, when it comes to labor policy, they support measures that economic history indicates would significantly hinder such recovery, like the Employee Free Choice Act, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act and the Public Safety Employer-Employee Cooperation Act.

Experience shows the link between increased unionization and reduced job and income growth. The ten states with the highest rates of private-sector union membership in 1997 had two-thirds less aggregate private-sector job growth by 2007 than did the ten states with the lowest rates. The ten most unionized states had only half as much real personal income growth as the ten least. Also, businesses prefer to locate in right-to-work states, where unions cannot enforce “closed shops” — that is, where union membership can't be made a precondition for employment, and where fewer employees tend to fall under monopoly bargaining power. Similarly, if card check increases unions’ power through the whole country, many businesses would have no choice but to relocate to other countries whose policies are less tilted in favor of monopolistic unionism.

If the new president and his allies in Congress are to succeed in reviving the economy, they must first do no harm. This will mean abandoning all such Big Labor schemes. Otherwise, what the stimulus plan could give, labor legislation will take away — and the economy will stay in recession.

Mallory Factor writing in the National Review Online.

HT: Stan Greer

42 Comments:

At 2/24/2009 1:04 PM, Blogger Walt G. said...

With all the economic havoc wreaked by big business lately, should we really fear the checks-and-balances that labor unions can provide? Maybe another set of eyes watching those in charge is not such a bad idea.

Regardless of what anyone thinks, workers should be able to join any legal associations, such as labor unions, without fear of retaliation. A close inspection of NLRB cases shows that’s not the case now. Want a sure way to get illegally fired by an employer who does not care to openly flaunt the U.S. labor laws? Just try forming or joining a labor union where you work.

The worst thing that will happen if the employer is found guilty of violating the law after the case works through the system in three years is that they will have to pay the employee back pay minus any unemployment or wages earned by the employee elsewhere. In addition, the employer will have to post a sign in the workplace that they violated the labor law and promise not to do it again. Is that a penalty or a joke? You’ll have to be the judge of that. I was taught properly by my parents to obey the law. I guess most businesses had bad parents.

 
At 2/24/2009 3:27 PM, Blogger Paul said...

"Maybe another set of eyes watching those in charge is not such a bad idea."

It is if that set of eyes includes corrupt union bosses who don't want to compete with the world like the rest of us in non-unionized fields.

 
At 2/24/2009 3:49 PM, Anonymous Machiavelli999 said...

Experience shows the link between increased unionization and reduced job and income growth. The ten states with the highest rates of private-sector union membership in 1997 had two-thirds less aggregate private-sector job growth by 2007 than did the ten states with the lowest rates.

This is the perfect example of confusing correlation for causality. Actually, its probably even worse. Since it comes from the National Review, its probably purposefully misinterpreting the data to support your views.

 
At 2/24/2009 4:28 PM, Blogger Walt G. said...

Paul,

I can compete with anyone in my field. There are a huge number of very competent union workers, and even more who wished they were. When asked, a majority of non-managers say they want to belong to a labor union; however, when they vote, something else happens. Do you suppose the intimidation and threats of losing their jobs has anything to do with that?

Corrupt union bosses? Probably. But, if corruption means elimination, I have a feeling we will not have many people left in business or government. Accordingly, removing corruption means removing the person and not the institution--that is--unless you want anarchy.

I don't necessarily support labor unions' actions. I support your legal right to belong or not belong to one. That’s not happening now. Don’t take my word for it. Spend a few minutes at the NLRB Website, do your own research, and pull a few random cases. You will see the majority of unfair labor practice charges are for illegal discharge by the employer for union activity. The penalty is so small for the flagrant infraction of the law there’s really not a good reason for the employer to obey the law. If I stole your laptap computer and the only penalty if I got caught was I would have to give it back three years later, would you think that was a just application of law? I doubt it. That’s how violations of labor laws work.

 
At 2/24/2009 5:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Taxpayers Clearing House

You may already be a winner!

 
At 2/24/2009 6:26 PM, Blogger QT said...

Walt g,

If I stole your laptap computer and the only penalty if I got caught was I would have to give it back three years later, would you think that was a just application of law?

Should we not also look at the other side of the coin like tires slashed during a labour dispute (no charges laid) or
union intimidation. Isn't it fair to say that a worker can experience undue pressure from both the employer and over-zealous union representatives?

I agree that a worker has a right to free association and that the workplace should be free from intimidation. I don't see how card check can provide greater protection to workers from coersion and reprisal than the secret ballot. Perhaps, you could comment on this issue.

 
At 2/24/2009 7:32 PM, Blogger Walt G. said...

QT,

I don’t support anyone who breaks a law whether it is tire slashing or illegal discharge for union organizing. You can’t dispute the ultimate penalty for a worker is losing his job—in union lingo—we consider that the death penalty. Unions, except in very few cases, cannot hire or fire. Accordingly, the balance of power, just like in a casino, is in the employer’s favor. That’s always the case.

Unions can currently be certified or decertified by card check if an employer opts to accept that method. Not surprisingly, most employers accept the decertification of unions and do not accept the certification of unions through card check. This forces a vote by ballot. Before the vote takes place, employees are forced to attend meetings where the employer, often through hired union-busting experts, threatens or coddles the employees from voting for the union. Often a few are fired to prove their power. Unions do not have on-site access to the employee to explain their views of unionization. So, unions are often voted down. Card check increases options for the worker while taking none away.

I don’t necessarily agree with all the policy choices labor unions have made over the years. I’m not here to air that dirty laundry—this blog does not need any help in that area. I will say, however, that the role that unions play, even for those who are not unionized, maybe especially for those who are not organized, cannot be taken for granted. An unnatural power situation will exist if unions should suddenly no longer exist.

Any non-checked power eventually turns tyrannical—it’s just the nature of the beast. Why do you think our tri-cameral government system with its inherent checks and balances is held up to the world as the supreme political system that others wish to emulate? Removing unions will allow businesses and corporations to have a dictatorial role. How many successful countries can you name that have a dictator in charge? Damn few, I bet.

I’ve worked for dozens of employers all of my life, I have always had two or three jobs at a time or the overtime equivalent at GM, and only my job at GM has been unionized. I’ve thrived at all of them—I’ve never been fired. I still would not want to work in a country that did not a union threat to keep the balance of power somewhat in check. Anything that gives the worker more options is a good thing as far as I am concerned.

 
At 2/24/2009 8:22 PM, Anonymous Ian Random said...

Nah, adding an organization that will fight to keep the most incompetent people employed should have no impact on productivity. Mysteriously, the worst employee where I used to work was most in favor of a union. I heard the same from a couple of former newspaper reporters. Seems to even apply to the cop unions since they make it hard to fire dangerous cops. I remember a documentary on PBS about a cop so dangerous that he was not allow to police alone.

 
At 2/24/2009 8:45 PM, Anonymous Ralph Short said...

I was once a union member, I also negotiated with unions as a manager. We also had arbitration with unions over grievances.

Unions stand for mediocrity. The leadership and many of the true followers of unions have no stake in the success of the company. The leadership because they like the power, the pay, or both depending on the circumstances. The adherents because the live for mediocrity and security.

The only thing a company can do to combat this is to have a strong contract with precise language and not allow for precedent setting settlements that weaken the contract. Even with that in many of the states in the "rust belt" it may not be enough if agreement cannot be reached in a contract because what you will see then is the state coming in to rescue mediocrity.

Walt, you can talk all you want about how good unions are, but my own experience, and everything I have read tells me otherwise.

 
At 2/24/2009 9:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Professor, by "first do no harm" do you mean "do no harm to their political career" or "do no harm to the economy". I think we know which interpretation the politicians are taking.

 
At 2/24/2009 9:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Walt,

I don't necessarily support labor unions' actions. I support your legal right to belong or not belong to one. That’s not happening now. Don’t take my word for it. Spend a few minutes at the NLRB Website, do your own research, and pull a few random cases. You will see the majority of unfair labor practice charges are for illegal discharge by the employer for union activity. The penalty is so small for the flagrant infraction of the law there’s really not a good reason for the employer to obey the law.

What you're saying is that workers should have a right to collective bargaining and I should have no right as an employer to refuse collective bargaining. How is that fair or logical? Please don't give me the defense that this is the law. In Nazi Germany, it was illegal to shelter Jews and I'm pretty sure you would agree that the fact that this was the law did not make it any less immoral. Thus, in no way is firing an employee for union activity remotely equivalent to stealing a laptop. If employees have a right to try to bring Unions into my shop, I have a right to try to keep them out.

I'm from the Soviet Union, where every worker was forced to belong to a union. Unions do not keep the power in check. Not there and not here (my father worked for a union operation when we came to the United States). The only things unions are good at is convincing 51 of employees (the amount required to unionize everyone in the shop in some states) that they're better off losing the power to negotiate their own wages so that union bosses can force them to pay a fee. The boss of the company is powerful, the union boss is powerful and the individual employees lose all their power. Your moral arguments lean heavily on laws written by politicians in the pockets of union bosses. But when one examines the reality, one finds that the party that suffers most from unions is labour. Perhaps that's why union membership has been dropping for decades.

 
At 2/25/2009 1:25 AM, Anonymous t jefferson said...

Just ask the Delphi retirees if they wished they had a labor contract and secret ballots to join a union. Instead of paying union dues they are paying legal fees and begging a judge not to take away their health care. Next will be their pension.

 
At 2/25/2009 7:13 AM, Blogger Walt G. said...

Ralph Short,

Where did I say labor unions were good? In my experience, though, most labor problems are caused by management’s failure to consistently enforce their own policies and procedures. It’s difficult to win a discharge grievance if management has thoroughly documented the issues and properly followed the progressive disciplinary procedure. I know you probably want to argue that all employees should be at-will employees, but a huge number of those discharge cases end up in court and the taxpayer pays for the employee’s representation. On the other hand, unionized employees are not allowed to file an employment lawsuit until all of their union options have been exhausted (that can be a problem if a union worker has a problem with the union not wanting to handle their case).

I said you have a right by labor law to decide for yourself whether you want to have someone else bargain for your working conditions. CEOs hire people to do that, sports players hire someone to do that. In fact, almost anyone with a substantial income has agents that one way or another help determine their pay, benefits, and working conditions. Why would you begrudge the same option for those who make less money?

 
At 2/25/2009 8:47 AM, Anonymous Stan Greer said...

Machiavelli999, I'm not going to get involved in the main discussion here, but I wanted to let you know that I am the one who calculated the private sector job growth data cited by Mallory Factor and reprinted on this blog.

My state private-sector union density data come straight from economists David Macpherson and Barry Hirsch, whose unionstats.com web site is widely cited and regarded as authoritative.

My private-sector job growth data come straight from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

You can argue about whether or not high union density causes low job growth. I think it does, but Factor's piece didn't insist on that. The negative correlation is very clear and undeniable. And it's Big Labor that's trying to change the law in this case. The burden of proof should be on union lobbyists to prove that federal mandatory card-check won't kill job growth, since they are the ones trying to change the law, and the evidence suggests it will.

If you want the actual data, e-mail me at stg@nrtw.org and I'll send my charts to you.

Stan Greer
National Right to Work Committee
National Institute for Labor Relations Research

 
At 2/25/2009 9:08 AM, Blogger Marc'n'NY said...

Walt,

I don't think anyone disputes the right of a worker, if they individually choose, to join a union. But if I own a business, why should I be forced to accept a union who doesn't give a damn about my success as an intermediary for dealing with my employees? My business is my property.

I have no principled objection to you hanging out with whoever you want off of my property, or bringing someone to negotiate on your behalf, if you have a rare enough talent to merit such a thing. The market forces me to do all kinds of things--that's the check on my tyranny. But union bosses begin with the premise of, "So, you think you can do whatever you want with your business? I'm here to tell you you can't." They invariably presume that the existence of a business a given, that I happen to be in charge by some accident, and that they can demand whatever they want in order to "check" my right as an owner. Frankly, I feel the same way about that as you would if you invited me into your home, and I started making demands about how you should treat me and when I should leave.

 
At 2/25/2009 9:42 AM, Blogger Walt G. said...

Marc'n'NY,

If you own a business, you have to follow all the laws that come with that responsibility. Even the ones you do not like. That includes labor laws. You don't have a choice. If the employers elect a bargaining agent you have to bargain in good faith or face a ULP. I'm not going to argue "fairness" because I cannot define it.

Capital and labor have fought since the beginning of time. The National Labor Relations Act was enacted to peacefully settle some of those differences. This is one of my research areas. Personally, I don't think the NLRA is beneficial to capital or labor as it is currently written. We have to accept the fact we are in a 21st century economy, and that we have to compete with the world. I think the rules have to be changed, but I still think unions can be an asset to both workers and business.

 
At 2/25/2009 10:19 AM, Blogger Marc'n'NY said...

Walt,

There is a distinction between defending or condemning behavior as a matter of law, and defending a vision of what the law should be as a matter of fairness. You seem like a sensible guy. Surely you can see that it's not helpful to try to have it both ways at once.

Your original comment used the loaded word "should" in arguing for a change in the law. That's an argument for fairness, as you see it. I was making a point about who "should" have a say in how I use my property, including policies governing other people's use of it for our mutual benefit. I thought I was addressing "should" with "should."

In your last post, you turn the argument around, stating that the law must be complied with even if you don't like it (I agree), and that you don't want to argue "fairness."

Walt, you need to choose the ground on which you're going to stand. Are you going to argue that I should submit to labor laws because they are the law, regardless of how fair I perceive them to be? Or are you going to argue that the laws must be molded according a vision of what one thinks is fair, and debate competing visions of what is fair?

 
At 2/25/2009 11:04 AM, Blogger Walt G. said...

"Are you going to argue that I should submit to labor laws because they are the law, regardless of how fair I perceive them to be?"

My position is clear and not a contradiction, but you have to start with the premise that capital and labor are equal. Many capitaists believe they have more investment than labor into an operation because their input is in dollars and not in body:

I'm arguing that the laws that are written shall be obeyed. And, unions exist by law. The law is clear that you cannot fire an employee for lawful union activity, and you have to bargain in good faith.

If you think the laws are "unfair," lobby and get them changed. I agree they need to be changed, too. Although, we might not agree on how they need to be changed.

 
At 2/25/2009 12:46 PM, Blogger QT said...

Walt,

I don't believe that MP advocated the elimination of all unions in this post. So isn't this a false dicotomy?

Unions are not the only checks and balances in the U.S. which is one of the reasons that the role of unions has diminished over the last 50 years. There is also an extensive body of legislation that protects workers.

Not everyone gets the opportunity to freely choose not associate.

Unions do have an important role however, many of us have not had positive union experiences. Some of us have ended up representing ourselves while the union provided little advice, mediation or legal counselling.

 
At 2/25/2009 1:16 PM, Blogger Walt G. said...

QT,

As far as I can tell, Professor Perry just posted Mallory Factor's article without commenting. If I gave the impression somewhere that I was commenting on something else besides that and subsequent posts, I'm sorry.

Anytime someone uses terminology such as "Big Labor schemes" like Factor did, I assume they would like to see labor unions' demise. I consider that the logical opposite of "greedy corporations."

I've seen the corporate law books and the labor law books section in the legal library. If they were placed on opposite ends of a scale, I know which way it would tip :)

By the way, I know the unionized workforce rate in Canada is much higher than the U.S. What's your take on that?

 
At 2/25/2009 3:37 PM, Blogger Marc'n'NY said...

"You have to start with the premise that capital and labor are equal."

I start from the premise that your property is yours. I don't get anything like an "equal" say in what you can do with it. My premise is that equity is a form of property--as hard earned as any paycheck. If you want the prerogatives of equity so you can dictate what should go on in a business, build a business or put your own capital at risk.

All that happens to be the premise of common law. Labor statutes may limit or negate the common law protection of property. So be it. But I certainly don't have to start from some Marxist theory about "equality of labor and capital" any more than you have to start with my premise that what's yours is mine.

 
At 2/25/2009 3:48 PM, Blogger Walt G. said...

My capital is my labor. Businesses that do not operate with a mentality that labor is their most important resource are especially prone to unionization.

 
At 2/25/2009 4:40 PM, Blogger Marc'n'NY said...

"My capital is my labor."

So, if you hire me to do painting and yard work around your home, your theory is that I get a say in how it should be maintained. After enough hard work, maybe I'll just take up in that spare bedroom. And that ice tea you're wife served the other day, it was a bit lukewarm and not sweet enough...

 
At 2/25/2009 4:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

you have to start with the premise that capital and labor are equal. Many capitaists believe they have more investment than labor into an operation because their input is in dollars and not in body:

Capital and labour are most certainly not equal. For one thing, without capital there is no demand for labour. For another, as the provider of capital I can lose all my capital while the employee must receive his wage whether the capital provider receives a return on not. As the capital provider, my claim on the income of the firm is secondary to the people I employ. If the firm goes bankrupt, I lose all the past income that I saved to invest int the firm, labour does not. There are fewer capital providers than there are willing labourers.

So, no, Walt. The employees of the firm and the people providing capital are not equal. They do not take equal risk and they are not equally important to the firm.

 
At 2/25/2009 5:05 PM, Anonymous Methinks said...

My capital is my labor.

Your labour is not your capital. Your labour is your product. As your employer, I'm am the potential buyer of that product.

Businesses that do not operate with a mentality that labor is their most important are especially prone to unionization.

So, in other words, businesses better do what their employees want or they'll be subject to thuggery. And you wonder why employers are hostile to unions?

In a vibrant economy, businesses that are more careless toward employees than the alternative, suffer high turnover. In a less vibrant economy, the employees just suffer more unemployment.

 
At 2/25/2009 5:25 PM, Blogger QT said...

For most businesses aside from those that are capital intensive, labour is a very large component of expenditures. Successful businesses value productive, creative, intelligent employees and understand the importance of the workforce in their continued success.

Peter Drucker once observed that people management is often an area of low competence for many managers. Managers who have a talent for picking employees that are the correct fit for their organization and developing those employees tend to be the exception not the norm. Sam Walton was reknowned for this ability.

Capital and labour are not however equivalent. An employee does not bear any risk associated with the business. He never worries about making a payroll or how he/she will meet the obligations of the company. The employee is not held jointly and severally liable for actions and indebtedness of the company. When the company goes broke, the employee loses his job while the owner often loses everything he owns. Sir Anthony O'Reilly is a case in point.

Without the entrepreneur, there would not be an employment opportunity.

Canada does have a higher union component primarily in public education, government, health services and manufacturing although unionization is also on the wane as Canada moves towards an increased percentage of service sector jobs.

 
At 2/25/2009 5:53 PM, Blogger Walt G. said...

"He never worries about making a payroll or how he/she will meet the obligations of the company."

He does wonder if management can run the company well enough there will be a payroll :) My team of union members with over 120 years of combined experience had documented savings of over $230,000 last year compared to 2007 when management was in charge of the same program. We will pit our cost-saving abilities against anyone's.

"Without the entrepreneur, there would not be an employment opportunity."

Unless he can do it by himself or herself, without employees there will be not be any entrepreneurs :)

 
At 2/25/2009 5:54 PM, Blogger @sethstorm said...


Managers who have a talent for picking employees that are the correct fit for their organization and developing those employees tend to be the exception not the norm. Sam Walton was reknowned for this ability.

His successors, not so much.


In a vibrant economy, businesses that are more careless toward employees than the alternative, suffer high turnover. In a less vibrant economy, the employees just suffer more unemployment.

One more reason to focus on the citizens when the economy suffers.

 
At 2/25/2009 7:04 PM, Blogger QT said...

I've seen the corporate law books and the labor law books section in the legal library. If they were placed on opposite ends of a scale, I know which way it would tip

Isn't that what one would expect. Surely corporate law governs more than contractual obligations, ie. consumer protection, environmental protection, corporate governance, executive liability, etc. Labour law is only one of component of legislation that governs a business.

Unless he can do it by himself or herself, without employees there will be not be any entrepreneurs

Isn't this another false dicotomy, a zero-sum? Entrepreneurs represent 1% of the US population....a very small group which is able to leverage its talent as well as the talent of others to create a benefit to society both in terms of creating products/services as well as economic opportunity for workers.

Without workers, the entrepreneur will hire someone else. If she/he is unable to move beyond trying to control all aspects of the business personally, the business is doomed to failure.

 
At 2/25/2009 7:29 PM, Blogger 1 said...

"With all the economic havoc wreaked by big business lately"...

Hmmm, what are referencing specifically walt g?

"This is the perfect example of confusing correlation for causality"...

This is a perfect example of a liberal trying like heck to ignore the real world...

"His successors, not so much"...

Yet another learned opinion sethstorm?

For what its worth: Under the Employee Free Choice Act's (EFCA) proposed rules the union may seek certification without a private vote once a majority of targeted employees have signed cards. They may also seek a government imposed labor contract on wages, benefits and working conditions. All of this is possible despite well documented evidence that these cards are often signed under coercive or intimidating circumstances and do not represent informed intent...

I'm not totally sold on what's posted there but its not all nonsense...

 
At 2/25/2009 8:04 PM, Blogger @sethstorm said...


Yet another learned opinion sethstorm?

No, it's the way the company has been run.

Sam loved our country, his immediate successors hate our country.

Nice attempt at quoting Rick Berman. If his opinion was worth its salt, he'd not need a front group to hide behind.

 
At 2/25/2009 9:17 PM, Anonymous t jefferson said...

The burden of proof should be on union lobbyists to prove that federal mandatory card-check won't kill job growth, since they are the ones trying to change the law, and the evidence suggests it will.

Hell if you want proof just look at states that don't favor labor like New orleans and Mississippi. What is the median wage, life expectantcy, birth weights and deaths. I don't know if you can just use job growth in your study, but your biased fits this site.

 
At 2/25/2009 9:33 PM, Blogger Walt G. said...

QT,
A union, just like any society, does not protect individual’s rights. Individuals give up rights when they decide to join together. A lot of individuals get “screwed” to protect the membership as a whole. I would not worry too much about seven people who do not want to join a union and were inconvenienced. Personally, I would worry more about a few thousand fighting soldiers fighting a war to save the way of life for millions. Sacrifices are made everywhere, and life is not fair—whatever that is.

A lot of the current discussion of unions does not matter to those who know their rights. A group of any employees (more than 1), unionized or not, can select a representative to collectively bargain with an employer. It’s called “protected concerted activity" by the NLRA and it is a protected right. If the employer fails to bargain in good faith with the employee representative, the group can file an unfair labor practice (ULP) charge through the nearest office of the NLRB. I’ve had good luck getting friends raises and better working conditions by using this often unknown bargaining method. Knowledge is power!

 
At 2/25/2009 11:25 PM, Blogger QT said...

You're right there. Knowledge is power. Ultimately, I believe that the individual is responsible for knowing the law and protecting their own rights.

A union may or may not end up being helpful in this process...personally, have not found them to be much good outside of contract negotiation. Our experiences are quite different on this score.

A city of Brampton employee saved $200,000 per year by suggesting changing the wattage of the Walk-Don't Walk traffic signage back in 1998. GM needs a great deal more than $230,000 in savings to ensure its continued existence.

 
At 2/26/2009 3:43 AM, Blogger 1 said...

"No, it's the way the company has been run"...

Hmmm, interesting... Running a company in a profitable manner is hating America?!?!

How very New York Times like of you sethstorm...

Then again the New York Times with their seditious love of this country is losing money...ROFLMAO!

"Nice attempt at quoting Rick Berman"...

I don't think it was an attempt, it was there for you to read, right?...

 
At 2/26/2009 6:17 AM, Blogger @sethstorm said...


Hmmm, interesting... Running a company in a profitable manner is hating America?!?!

When it runs against its citizens.

 
At 2/26/2009 7:11 AM, Anonymous Ralph Short said...

Walt G.,

it is a known fact the secret ballot is the only place where a person can decide an issue without outside pressure. The card check would simply enable the union and those pro union forces within the co. to effect pressure on the employee who is either undecided or is against the union. Let's face it, this is an attempt to legalize strong arm tactics.

I agree with you that all too often management surrenders their ability to manage by "range of the moment" thinking regarding grievances and/or contract negotiations and have stated this previously. GM, Ford and Chrysler are prime examples of this problem and I am sure there are other cos. as well. There is another factor in play here as well though, and that is even if management decides to make a stand then the politicians (government) want to jump in to effect a settlement. Rarely if ever, do politicians put the pressure on the unions to settle. It is the co. that is asked to acquiesce. This is due to an even shorter "range of the moment" thinking on the part of the government and the politicians' obsession with votes.

Finally, you mentioned in your post of 2/24/09, 7:32PM "unions do not have on site access to the employee to explain their views on unionization". My question would be, why should they have access. The company is still private property and can allow who or what it wants to have access to it. Are you suggesting otherwise. In that comment you also mentioned "hired experts" for the company. Fyi, the union also has it's "hired experts" and they do not use studies or charts to convince employees they need a union.

 
At 2/26/2009 8:28 AM, Blogger Walt G. said...

Ralph Short,

Card check is not new. Employers can accept that method now if they want, and it happens a lot. Our sanitation work was contracted out; the new employees were accepted into the union by card check with the contractor's blessing. Interestingly, to release the work, our company agreed not to stand in the way if the new workers wanted to unionize. I find it somewhat strange that a special agreement was reached that essentially said management would follow established labor law!

The legislation would make the employers accept card check unionization, and force possible punitive damages for labor law violations instead of simple restitution of uncompensated back pay. The NLRA, just like OSHA, is written to be corrective in nature and not punitive. Flagrant violations of corrective laws are often a prudent course of business with a financial reward for the illegal action. People who violate the law should not be rewarded.

As far as access to employees, I'm just suggesting that the union get an equal chance to present their side of the story. The business owners currently have their input. I am against ANY type of intimidation from either side, and I believe the employees should have ALL the information they need to make a well-informed choice. I don’t care how that objective is met.

 
At 2/26/2009 9:46 AM, Anonymous Stan Greer said...

tjefferson, as you may have heard, New Orleans is not a state.

Actually, on average the cost of living-adjusted weekly earnings of employees in the 10 states with the lowest share of private-sector workers who are unionized are substantially higher than the average cost of living-adjusted weekly earnings in the 10 states with the highest share of private-sector workers who are unionized.

See my recent study at http://www.nilrr.org/node/87 for details.

Monopolistic unionism is negatively correlated with cost of living-adjusted earnings and incomes as well as with job and income growth. Cherry-picking a couple of low wage states among the Right to Work states doesn't disprove that fact.

 
At 2/26/2009 2:28 PM, Blogger 1 said...

"When it runs against its citizens"...

Ha! ha! ha! That's right! WalMart is holding a gun to the heads of the downtrodden and forcing them to stock the shelves... ROFLMAO!

 
At 2/26/2009 7:10 PM, Blogger @sethstorm said...


WalMart is holding a gun to the heads of the downtrodden and forcing them to stock the shelves.

Well, they do lock people in and attempt to force people to work off-the-clock.

The gun is there, just as a matter of it being the only practical choice.

Last time I've heard of employers doing that, it was called 19th century Taylorism. The only difference today is the scale in which it is done- with the entire world over an entire nation. Eventually our nation evolved beyond it - until there was a means for it to regress(offshoring of labor and the accelerated decline of unionized labor - what should have been the check against such regression).

Dust off your sociology book or get one that discusses those particular philosophies.

 
At 2/28/2009 2:16 PM, Blogger 1 said...

"Well, they do lock people in and attempt to force people to work off-the-clock"...

Yeah sure sethstorm, those people didn't have a choice, they were in fear of the lives...LAMO!

"The gun is there, just as a matter of it being the only practical choice"...

"IF" that is there only practical choice then obviously they're not smart enough to do something else... They should be thankful that some outfit like a WalMart is there to give these mental gimps a job in the first place...

"Dust off your sociology book or get one that discusses those particular philosophies"...

What am I suppose to do with these books? Look for a rationale why people are either to stupid or to cowardly to go somewhere else?

 

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