Labor Pains: Because Being in a Union can be Painful

EFCA Is a Solution in Search of a Problem

Union bosses and their lackeys in Congress cling to the faulty notion that the dramatic declines in union membership are the result of employeer intimidation. Right.

Setting aside all the companies put under by union-driven labor costs, labor bosses refuse to recognize that many employees have no need for a union. After all, this isn’t the 1930s: the vast majority of businesses recognize that engaging employees is central to their success.

The trouble is that the National Labor Relations Act prohibits employers from creating effective employee involvement programs. The prohibition is an outmoded outgrowth of the attempt to prevent both employers and employees from creating “company unions,” but Heritage Foundation researcher James Sherk thinks Congress should reconsider the prohibition. He writes:

Current law forces workers to make an all-or-nothing choice between no voice at work and speaking through a labor union, but the economy has changed since the 1930s, and many workers do not want the adversarial labor relations that unions offer. As a result, union membership has fallen. Rather than deprive workers of the right to choose to join a union in privacy, Congress should give employees free choice about how to express themselves in the workplace.

Congress should modify the National Labor Relations Act to define a labor organization as an organization that negotiates collectively bargained contracts with workers. If Congress did so, the NLRA ban on employer-dominated labor organizations would continue to ban company unions used to defeat organizing drives but would allow workers to choose to work with their employers through employee involvement programs and work councils.

Categories: EFACEnding Secret Ballots