November 24, 2008

Just How "Red" Were Those Blue States On Election Night?

When I think to all of our fathers and grandfathers who spent the 20th century fighting the spread of communism and its principles, it makes me sad that I have to be here for its spread in America. And it didn't get here through war or the nuclear bomb, like everyone expected and feared for decades - it came through our own election.

Now, that's not to say Niagara Times is jumping on the Obamunism bandwagon - this isn't a diatribe against him or his philosophies in general. It's about one piece of legislation that out there that he supports, though - the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA). This legislation is as close to the Manifesto as America has seen, and the thing is - nobody knows it. We can understand the field day that organized labor is set to have with Democrats controlling everything, and we can respect the fact that union members and leadership worked very hard over the last decade to tip the scales in their direction. In that regard, the unions deserve to reap the fruits of their efforts.

But we should be very careful of what those fruits are. It's scary, because the House has already passed EFCA (which insiders pronounce "ef-ka"), and when then-candidate Barack Obama was asked if the bill would become a reality, he said, "The question isn't if, it's when." A Republican filibuster, which is not guaranteed, is the only hindrance left. America should be hoping that hindrance holds.

It astounds us that, regardless of how pro-union elected officials might be, they would throw their support behind this bill, as it is 100% against... Well, America. The American way. American values. Let me break it down for you:

First, it takes away an employee's right to a secret ballot when making the decision to unionize or not. Instead, employees working for a private company that are interested in unionizing would sign a card to denote their support. Sounds like a good time for those who believe in a "union-free" shop and don't put their name on a card right away - it's a good thing that union organizers aren't tenacious when it comes to this stuff.

Second - and if you thought the first part was bad, just wait - once the union collects enough cards and your employees unionize, your company has 10 days to begin negotiations. That's 10 days to determine what your employees' future will be and put an offer on the table. Wait, it gets better...

Then, you have 90 days to come to an agreement. You ask any CEO if you can come to an agreement with a union on a contract in 90 days and they'll tell you you're insane. Especially when the union doesn't necessarily want to come to an agreement, because...

If there's an impasse after 90 days, the negotiation goes into mediation, which has a 30-day deadline. After that deadline, the situation goes into mandatory arbitration, and if you know anything about arbitration... Let's just say the employer doesn't usually win.

So what does this mean? Essentially, the bill - in taking away the American institution of secret ballot from employees to ensure a smoother road to unionization - will force companies to be put through an expensive process that will ultimately end in the government telling private employers the parameters that they should be implementing in regards to their employees. That's right, under "ef-ka," the government will be dictating to private companies the wages they should be paying, benefits they should be offering, and every other aspect of their relationship with their employees. From what I know of American history, I thought in our country it was the market that determined those things.

"But business can't be trusted," you might say. "Look at the financial crisis and Wall Street corruption." Let's not forget that those abusing the system were headed toward a dramatic fall from glory before the government... yes, the government... stepped in to bail them out. We're seeing the same thing with the auto bailout - companies that have refused to change their ways are on the brink of devastation. There actually is responsibility out there in a market economy, and those who break the rules pay for their sins (Enron, Adelphia). Unless laissez-faire is actually truly dead.

You can argue that linking "ef-ka" to communism is a stretch. But Karl Marx believed in a system where control over industry was taken out of the hands of the bourgeoisie and given to the state. Without much spin, "ef-ka" seems to be a step in that direction.

3 comments:

Frank DeGeorge said...

There are two sides to every story so I'd be willing to listen to the other BUT absent something that I haven't seen yet, how is taking away the right to a secret ballot anything but un-American?

Paladin said...

This is the kind of stuff that would have made Stefano Maggadino proud.

Imagine being that poor guy who holds the balance of whether his shop goes union or not, and getting a visit from the union "organizers." Then imagine wearing casts on both legs. But, I repeat myself.

Frank DeGeorge said...

Is there any doubt we are turning into a banana republic where the average joe has zero impact on what government does?