According to the Bureau of National Affairs’ Daily Labor Report, the AFL-CIO’s Sheldon Friedman made the interesting claim that the anti-democratic “Employee Free Choice Act” could be the “most important” labor legislation since the 1935 National Labor Relations Act.
Wow. One little statement can say a lot.
The 1935 Act was crucial because it gave Big Labor its power, so it’s understandable that it’s still #1 in the hearts and minds of labor leaders. It’s equally notable that the Taft-Hartley Amendment in 1947 is less than great in labor leaders’ minds because it diminished their power to abuse their members. See Wikipedia’s entry on the issue:
The Taft-Hartley amendments made sweeping changes in U.S. labor law: they outlaw secondary boycotts and closed shops, allow individual states to outlaw union security clauses by passing what opponents of compulsory unionism call “right-to-work” laws, require unions and employers to give sixty days’ notice before they may undertake strikes or other forms of economic action, give the President authority to intervene in strikes or potential strikes that create a national emergency, exclude supervisors from coverage under the Act, require special treatment for professional employees and guards, codify the Supreme Court’s earlier ruling that employers have a constitutional right to express their opposition to unions, give employers the right to file a petition asking the Board to determine if a union represents a majority of its employees, and allow employees to petition to oust their union or to invalidate the union security provisions of any existing collective bargaining agreement.
And we at the Center for Union Facts can offer firsthand testimony that union bosses don’t much care for the effects of 1959’s Labor Management Reporting and Disclosure Act, which was instituted in large part to allow union members to see where their money was being spent and to fight organized crime’s influence on the labor movement. Said union bosses really, really hate that.
It was only a few words, but once again union bosses’ preference for curtailing employees’ rights in favor of their own power comes through loud and clear.