Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Meet the Real Foes of The Employee Free Choice Act

So, you'd like to maybe know who some of the foes of the Employee Free Choice Act are? Hold on to your hats with this one (and special thanks to Spotter for sending me this). According to Huffington Post, it's none other than some of the most profligate CEOs whose own bad business practices caused the economic crisis we're in. Oh, and some of those with the greediest hands out for TARP funds. I kid you not because I'm just not a good enough fiction writer to make this up. Here's the money (yes, pun intended) quote:

Three days after receiving $25 billion in federal bailout funds, Bank of America Corp. hosted a conference call with conservative activists and business officials to organize opposition to the U.S. labor community's top legislative priority.

Participants on the October 17 call -- including at least one representative from another bailout recipient, AIG -- were urged to persuade their clients to send "large contributions" to groups working against the Employee Free Trade Act (EFCA), as well as to vulnerable Senate Republicans, who could help block passage of the bill.

Bernie Marcus, the charismatic co-founder of Home Depot, led the call along with Rick Berman, an aggressive EFCA opponent and founder of the Center for Union Facts. Over the course of an hour, the two framed the legislation as an existential threat to American capitalism, or worse.
You'll have to excuse my incredulity but I thought these dudes were the biggest existential threat to American capitalism and a lot worse. They are the ones who caused the public's loss of faith in American business because of the way these near criminals have conducted themselves.

In addition to opposing EFCA, they also are raising money for vulnerable conservative Republican candidates - you know, the very people who actually opposed socialism for greedy rich CEOs and voted against the bailout. In fact, talk about biting the hand that literally fed them, without the Democrats, they wouldn't have a bailout to piss in.

Remember, these are the men and women who grabbed public funds to bailout corporations they ran into the ground and then went partying at fancy resorts. Now they are fighting against union protection, higher wages, and a decent working environment for janitors, coal miners, maids, and other ordinary workers.

Meanwhile, actual union members risked their lives to save other's lives in the miracle on the Hudson. Believe me, it wasn't just God who made that miracle, but brave and well trained men and women acting as His angels. And those people owed their safety training to good union apprenticeships and classes that let them upgrade their skills at no expense to their employers.

Now you know who is really waging class warfare - and on the government's dime no less. You know, if I were a conservative, not only would I be ashamed, I wouldn't take their money. It would be like an abstinence only group getting its funding from the most active hooker in town.


Anonymous said...

I have to say, I'm a liberal Democrat, but I can't for the life of me understand why we would want the EFCA. Doing away with the secret ballot would make it harder, not easier to organize. I think McGovern is right.

AnonymousIsAWoman said...

I think McGovern is wrong about this. He's actually wrong quite a lot, including about foreign policy, but that's a different story.

EFCA would not take away a secret ballot. It makes it easier for workers to organize, though.

A lot of people in Congress who are usually business oriented are voting for it because the balance of power between labor and corporations has tipped so far in favor of corporations that all workers are seeking is to restore some of labor's bargaining power.

Large companies, like Wal-Mart, are famous for worker intimidation and for preventing any organizing.

The legislation would allow workers to form a union if they are able to get a majority of workers to sign up for the union. It would allow this without an election in some cases, where intimidation is occurring. But it certainly doesn't forbid or end secret ballot elections. That's always a first choice.

Two things to keep in mind. All collective bargaining means is that employees would have a representative who is able to bargain on their behalf for a contract that is fair to both workers and management. No CEO would work for a company without a contract. And those contracts are usually bargained for by the CEO's attorneys. Why should management have the protection of a contract, gone over with a fine tooth comb by their lawyers, but workers be left with no protection?

It's a proven fact that unionized workers earn better salaries and have safer work environments than their non union counterparts. They also are often better trained, and unions frequently provide the apprentice programs to do that training.

The balance has shifted too far in the favor of management. It's simply time for balance and fairness.