Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Employee Free Choice Act Threatens Employees

According to the BLR, the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and the Coalition for a Democratic Workplace are challenging HR800, the Employee Free Choice Act, which is supposed to make it easier for unions to organize. The key here is that it forces employees to declare their vote publicly which seems to fly in the face of a fundamental democratic principle that a person's vote is nobody's business but his or her own.

Understandably, unions, whose membership now only constitutes 7.3% of all non-governmental workers are looking for anything that can stop the hemorrhaging. Unfortunately, this legislation can just as easily work to the advantage of employers as the unions. Let's face it, a public vote can be much more easily influenced than a secret vote. If employers are afraid that union organizers might use intimidation techniques to influence employee voters, union organizers should be just as concerned about threats of employer retaliation against those supporting a union. In both cases, the employee is caught in the middle and is the one standing to lose regardless of how the vote turns out.

The Employee Free Choice Act appears more like the Employee COERCED Choice Act painting a target on every employee willing to participate in the election—not an enviable position for any employee. The current method with secret ballots prevents this from happening. In this case, we might even say, "If it's not broke, don't break it.

UPDATE: Shadegg weighs in on the issue.

1 comment:

sirocco said...

I agree ... unionizing votes should require secret ballots. The potential of abuse, from both directions, is simply too large otherwise.