Labor Pains: Because Being in a Union can be Painful

The Occasional RESPECT Act

There’s a federal bill being pushed by union officials and some in Congress which would undo recent National Labor Relations Board decisions classifying some employees as supervisors (and thus making them ineligible for union membership). I won’t get into the specifics of the so-called RESPECT Act, but I did want to pass along a note from longtime labor reformer David Denholm.

David writes:

The secretaries at a United Way unit in Pennsylvania were voting to decertify their union, the United Steelworkers. The vote was 4-4 so the union was out but the union challenged one voter, the 9th one, on the basis that she “occasionally” exercised supervisory responsibilities and therefore should be excluded.

Local 2599 President Jerry Green said he has accepted that the union will be voted out. He said employee Jane Hontz, whose ballot is being contested, occasionally fills the role of management and should be excluded from the union.

The irony is, of course, that the RESPECT Act would provide that a person had to spend “a majority of the individual’s worktime” exercising supervisory responsibilities and the person whose vote the union challenged would have clearly been a bargaining unit member.

I’m not even sure it’s irony — it smells a little more like hypocrisy.

Categories: Ending Secret Ballots