Thursday, March 01, 2007

More good news

The Employee Free Choice Act passed the House today, on a vote of 241 to 185. While WAPO describes it as a nearly party-line vote, it's notable that a number of Republics crossed party line to support the measure. Would that have happened a year ago?

The Act would permit unions to be certified by a "card check," that is, by turning in signed cards from more than half of the workers. Companies typically prefer to make the union win an election. While a secret ballot might sound democratic, in fact election campaigns give management the chance to use a large number of unfair (and illegal) tactics to defeat attempts to organize. All too often, employees are threatened with firing; active union supporters frequently do lose their jobs. Even if unfair labor practices can be proved, obtaining relief from the NLRB is a tortuous process and, with the Board dominated by Republics, anything but certain. Card checks result in a lot fewer complaints about management strongarming.

The Republics have vowed to block the Act in the Senate and the White House promises a veto if it should somehow pass, so it won't become law this year. But its advance is a sign that the wind may be changing and that labor's long-sought resurgence may, at last, be gathering steam.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This is a strong step in the direction of labors rebirth as the representative of the woking class.
For some reason, mostly Republican propaganda, they thought they didn't need the protection of the "many" organized together.
I hope they are beginning to see that they do.