I have always contended that of the three Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) provisions, (1) Elimination of the Secret Ballot Election and return to Card Check, (2.) Mandatory Arbitration and (3.) Employer Fines, the Employer Fines have been, and continue to be, the main objective for unions and the Obama Administration! Never in their wildest dreams did they believe the Secret Ballot Election would be eliminated, or that Mandatory Arbitration would be imposed. What they really want is a baseball bat to force employers to sign a ” Neutrality Agreement” which would provide more benefits than EFCA.
Politicians sympathetic to the cause of labor unions, including the Obama Administration, understand that the right to vote in private through the use of a Secret Ballot Election is recognized as a fundamental American right, and that the denial of such a freedom would cause a firestorm with the American public. They also know mandatory arbitration is a fairy tale as the business community would never permit such a provision to become effective law. However, the imposition of fines on corporations violating the National Labor Relations Act would easily be accepted by the American public. After all, those evil corporations who harass and intimidate their employees to keep them from organizing are un-American and are only after profits! Although the truth is that unions are the real masters of pressure, intimidation and misuse of funds, it makes for great propaganda!
It has been suggested that Congress will pass such a measure by attaching it to unrelated legislation. The bill will likely contain obscure language imposing fines on employers who interfere with employee organizing through intimidation and pressure. The fines would mimic those proposed in EFCA and would be substantial, likely $ 20,000 per Unfair Labor Practice (ULP) upheld by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).
Whether the unions can substantiate the allegations they bring is irrelevant, because with this tool in their pocket, they can now institute the infamous Corporate Campaign. Death by a 1000 cuts! The union files dozens of charges against any business which resists its demands (Remember in my book the SEIU filed over 40 against EMS in less than 18 months). The battered business Owner/ CEO is faced with crippling financial costs. One upheld charge is $ 20,000 let alone the cost of multiple charges and legal fees! How many companies are willing or capable of withstanding such an onslaught? The answer is very few. The union, as part of the master plan, contacts the Owner/CEO and tells him/ her it will withdraw the charges and the fines will disappear if the company just signs a ” Neutrality Agreement”.
Like magic, the union has transformed a seemingly fair law into a nightmare for both the employees and the employer, because the union has everything it wanted and more! In addition to the three provisions of EFCA most Neutrality Agreements include gag orders on the employer, force the company to turn over a roster of the employees and their contact information (so they can intimidate employees into signing union cards since card check is now in play), and have the company sign and send a letter to the employees written by the union that signifies the companies cooperation. The union will harass and intimidate the employees into signing union cards. Forced unionism has been imposed on the employer and it’s employees for the sake of power and money to perpetuate political and union goals. Union members dues will now be poured into the political coffers of the candidates they support who in turn will pass laws to enhance union membership at the expense of taxpayers. It becomes a vicious cycle that will ruin the American economy.
Sound incredible? The administration is attempting an end run around Congress to achieve this objective! Recently the Department of Labor (DOL), at the Obama Administration’s direction, proposed a rule change to require employers to report financial costs for consultants, attorneys and employee meetings with managers/supervisors regarding employee organizing. Failure to do so would result in employer penalties and possible jail sentences. Sound like the third provision of EFCA? This is but an example of the willingness of the Administration to impose hardships on American business and to take any step necessary to reward Big Labor for its support.
Please read the link below where Phil Wilson of Labor Relations Ink (LRI) cites my theory and now sees the reality! Please read both carefully and contact you representative to derail this rule change which would be devastating to American employees and employers!