Labor Pains: Because Being in a Union can be Painful

EFCA: “Reward Your Friends and Punish Your Enemies”

Today’s Senate hearing on the misnamed Employee Free Choice Act was a farce. Politicians continued to spout bogus numbers in support of the bill that would end the right to a personal, private vote for workers deciding whether to join a union. And Big Labor’s shills were shrill in their support. A few points:

  • Senator Edward Kennedy wrongly pushed the 31,000-firings myth.
  • Senator Johnny Isakson noted EFCA would “radically change” the way we currently choose unionization, turning to a “tort type system that would bring a smile to any lawyer’s face.”
  • One of the unions’ witnesses, Prof. Cynthia Estlund, acknowledged that under EFCA “no doubt such coercion could happen” by unions (before suggesting, sans reasonable argument, that they were unlikely to do so).
  • Senator Tom Coburn told Prof. Estlund that, given his experience in dealing with three union organizing drives by the Teamsters, he found a critical part of her testimony relating to threats from employers to be “entirely erroneous.”
  • Lawrence Mishel of the union-funded Economic Policy Institute quoted Samuel Gompers as saying “Reward Your Friends and punish your enemies” — which, by and large, appears to be the current political spoils system for Big Labor’s help electing the new leadership.
  • Mr. Mishel also noted that “unions promote opportunity” and claimed “unions do not harm the productivity of firms.” Perhaps.
Categories: UFCW