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February 26, 2009

Unions

-- by Dave Johnson

I asked a friend if she thought people would join a union where she works. She said "I think everyone would be too scared." But a recent survey found that 60% of all workers would choose to join a union if they could.

The Employee Free Choice Act is coming to the Congress one of these days. Keep that name in mind for when it comes up. This law would protect workers from being fired for talking about unions, and would allow workers to organize without the boss finding out using a method called "card check." Once a majority of workers in a company or at a location sign up for a union, the union is recognized as the bargaining agent and laws protecting organized workers take effect.

The current methods of organizing a union, where the workers have a day when they all vote in a secret ballot,will also still be available. The Employee Free Choice Act, though, lets them choose to have card check instead. The problem with the current method is that it happens entirely on management's terms, often delayed and delayed, and with the manager calling workers into the office one at a time to "explain" what will happen to the worker if a union comes in.

It would be nice if our economic system didn't have the kind of outcomes that make unions so necessary. But they are.

Posted by Dave Johnson at February 26, 2009 9:54 AM


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