Union Victories Up, Data May Impact EFCA Debate
The union victory rate in National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) certification elections climbed to 73 percent in the first half of 2009, according to statistics from the Bureau of National Affairs (BNA) research division. While the overall number of NLRB elections declined, the union victory rate increased 6.6 percent over the same time period in 2008. Unions won at a rate higher than 50 percent in every industry except the wholesale industry, where unions won merely 27 percent of elections. For the first time since BNA began tracking NLRB election statistics, unions won more than 50 percent of elections in the manufacturing sector.
With such data, unions cannot credibly claim they are unable to prevail in government-conducted secret ballot elections. Accordingly, it will be harder for unions to sustain the card-check provision of the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) before Congress as a necessary labor law reform, especially in light of reports that up to 87 percent of the American public supports government-supervised secret ballot elections.
If the card-check provisions of EFCA are dropped in favor of a "compromise" such as fast-track elections, employers will have to re-focus their opposition to the most revolutionary and damaging aspect of EFCA - mandatory interest arbitration (forced contracts). The potential harm of mandatory interest arbitration cannot be overstated, as it would for the first time in history create government-dictated terms and conditions of employment in the private sector. Thus, while the deletion of card-check from the proposed law would be welcome news, employers and other opponents of EFCA should continue to educate legislators and the public regarding the dangers of this anti-business legislation.
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