Labor Pains: Because Being in a Union can be Painful

EFCA, EFCA Everywhere, and Not a Ballot to Spare (or: We’d Rather Be Canada)

Now that the AFL-CIO is hosting its own party to gin up international labor support for eroding the rights of Americans, the mischievously misnamed “Employee Free Choice Act” is on everyone’s lips. First it’s Jesse Jackson — that ol’ thoughtful commentator — pushing EFCA in the Chicago Sun-Times. Then it’s the head of the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO in the Morning Call. Why, you’d almost think there was a PR effort underway!

The common theme, that America needs to be more like Europe, is carried this morning’s Wall Street Journal, where Kris Maher reports:

Several top labor officials plan to meet with Democratic leaders today to press for passage of the Employee Free Choice Act, which would allow workers to sign cards in favor of unions off company grounds and require the companies to remain publicly neutral. The practice is more common in many industrialized countries.

Jackson says:

Europe and Canada have faced the same transformation of technology and globalization. But unions have sustained their share of the work force — about 30 percent in Canada — and so those countries do not witness the extremes of inequality, stagnant wages and plummeting benefits that we’ve seen in this country.

Ahh, yes … the reason we need to overhaul the cornerstone of modern labor law — which allows working Americans to, you know, vote with a secret ballot as to whether they want to pay union dues for the duration of their career — is to become stagnant, riotous, and more stagnant more like Europe.

Why was it again the jobs that union leaders help offshore go mostly to competitive countries, and not so much to Europe?

Categories: AFL-CIOCenter for Union FactsEnding Secret Ballots