The Instigator
diety
Con (against)
Winning
14 Points
The Contender
Mickeyrocks
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points

Resolved: That the Employee Free Choice Act of 2009 serves the best intrests of the American people

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/1/2009 Category: Politics
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 621 times Debate No: 8058
Debate Rounds (4)
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Votes (2)

 

diety

Con

I negate the resolved. I ask that my opponents don't post their arguments until next round. You can post your arguments this round, but i reccomend that you dont.
Mickeyrocks

Pro

Your turn.
Debate Round No. 1
diety

Con

Alright then opponent. I post my arguments with these 3 contentions:

1) Card check system is flawed
2) Binding arbitration is flawed
3) This bill will ultimately hurt American business

1) Card Checking

Now lets talk about card checking. Under EFCA as long as unions have majority of signed cards, the union would automatically become a representative among the employees and a private ballot election would become illegal.

By doing this, employees are left open to intimidation and coercion.

According to the Testimony of Jen Jason, who was a former union organizer from Unite-Here, she along with other organizers were instructed to use mainipulation tactics that would agitate employeese into signing cards. She even ADMITS that EFCA is a powerful advantage to unions to be recognized, and later states that the amount of signed cards is usually disproportionate to pro union ballots.

They are actually far less. According to an inside study by AFL-CIO, unions dont have a 50% of winning until at least 75% of employees sign cards. What AFL-CIO admits is that just because you sign a card doesn't necessarily mean you want to join a union, otherwise 75% of signed cards would mean a certain victory.

2) Binding arbitration

Under the EFCA if an initial contract isnt made in 120 days, a government appointed arbiter will make a decision binding on the parties for 2 years. Basically this tells businesses "you better let us mess with your wages whether you like it or not."

The unwise thing about this bill is that it puts an arbiter, who has no stake in the matter or financial consequence for making a poor decision, in a position to manipulate wages, therefore behind the wheel of your business. This bill assumes that the arbiter is trustworthy and immune to all forms of corruption (specifically bribery), and that the arbiter is educated enough to make a MARKET based decision that wont hurt business.

Also, this bill takes away power from the employers and the employees. The employees cannot hold a vote to terminate the contract, and employers may not terminate the contract without consent of the union. The business and employees may suffer dire consequences as a result of a poor decision, as they cannot terminate it no matter how bad it is.

3) Business

Unionizing has its benefits, but is not necessary at ALL COSTS. Increasing wages and benefits for the employees may not be suitable for the company. One example of an industry torn by mindless overuse of collective bargaining is the American auto industry. Thanks to the contracts made by the United Auto Workers union, the big three pay as high as $70 an hour to support worker salaries and benefits. Now since the automotive industry has had to suffer the financial consequences of a greedy union, it is on the brink of bankruptcy, and must cut jobs in order to stay afloat. From the year 2000 till today, in attempt to stay afloat the big three have cut over 250,000 American jobs.

:)

I humbly await my opponents arguments
Mickeyrocks

Pro

My partner and I affirm, "Resolved: That the employee free choice act of 2009 is in the best interest of the American people."

Contention One: The EFCA restores workplace democracy.

Kate Bronfenbrenner of Cornell University writes, "51% of all employers illegally threaten employees during a campaign for union certification. Moreover, one in four employers illegally fires a union representative in an attempt to stifle union activity." The current system of unionization is broken, it is lined with illegal activity by employers who put down tremendous pressure on employees, by threatening them in the majority of circumstances, or in some cases – even firing them. Because of these practices, the effort to unionize becomes a fruitless task – no sane individual would vote in a manner that would cost them their job. In fact, Gordon Lafer of the University of Oregon conducted an exit-poll of individuals after an election to unionize, and the main reason employees voted against unionization was because of employer pressure. The EFCA eliminates these unfair practices in two ways:

First: Current labor law is insufficient in punishing these employer violations. In fact, there are 0 punitive sanctions imposed for breaking a federal labor law during an election campaign. The EFCA places a high price on breaking the law – up to 29,000 dollars per violation. These strong penalties will discourage employers from their future
violations of labor law.
Second: The Employee Free Choice Act diminishes both employer and employee coercion through without a secret ballot there will be undue influence upon employees to vote a specific way in unionization, but the facts don't support this. A 2009 survey by Adrienne Eaton of Cornell University finds that employees felt less pressure from all sources and
reported that they "felt freer" to vote as they wished in the card-check campaign compared to a secret ballot election. Giving employees the option to vote as they wish is clearly the first step to establishing workplace democracy.

Contention Two: The EFCA replenishes the American Economy.

Opponents of the EFCA argue that higher wages lead to less unionized positions – but this isn't true. In fact, in 1997 the OECD – an unbiased global organization of over 100 countries worldwide – determined that "union density has a positive relationship with employment rates."

Additionally, Dr. Paula Voos of Rutgers University writes, "Unions…reduce turnover and [as a result] firm specific skills are retained. Since unions increase compensation, firms are incentivized to invest in new technology further
increasing productivity." With less people quitting as a result of unionization, and with firms innovating into new technology productivity skyrockets. Harvard Economist James Medoff concluded that, "unionized firms are 22% more productive because of lower turnover rates and innovated workplace strategies." On the whole, this means that
while workers are receiving more compensation their work, the employer is also generating more income. The benefits of unionization can be listed as follows:

1) Unionized firms compensate their workers more than nonunionized firms, meaning that workers have more money to put back into the economy. As a result, unionization has a positive impact on GDP development.

2) Higher wages generate higher tax revenue. According to Economic Roundtable, a non-profit research institute for Los Angeles, higher wages from LA unions alone have generated 7 billion dollars in tax revenue on all levels of government.

3) Higher wages benefit small businesses, as union workers have more money to spend – increasing the profit of regional businesses. In fact, Economic Roundtable estimates that in Los Angeles alone higher wages can account for 51
billion dollars of sales.

So it because unions restore democracy in the workplace by eliminating illegal activity and establishing a coercion free environment, while at the same time increasing GDP, helping small businesses and generating revenue – that I urge
you to affirm.

Let's address the CON case:

His C1:

- He argues for an increase in coercion. This is empirically untrue, look to my first contention, where i give you a study by Adrienne Eaton. To give you the actual numbers of that study, he finds that in the Card check election opposed to the secret ballot:

Employer coercion fell 50%
Employee coercion fell 4%
Union organizer coercion fell 6%

Empirically, he has testimony from one union organizer - this is data compiled from over 400 NLRB elections.

His only real analysis here, is that union reps get lots of signatures, but this can easily be explained. union organizers know that the coercive techniques and flat out threats the employers make will cause some to be scared into voting against unionization. This point is just a reflection of the full extent employer coercion has on employees.

His C2:

- He argues that arbitrators will be unknowledgable. This point is just blatantly false. The FMCS, the organization that would administer an arbitrator, lists the following on their recruitment bulletin: "an applicant must have substantial full-time experience (acquired over a period of several years) in the negotiation of collective bargaining agreements in a leadership/spokesperson role or a similar role in agreement administration within his/her organization. experience will generally encompass utilization of varied bargaining processes, substantial knowledge of contract language, familiarity with a broad scope of subjects, experience in numerous and diverse bargaining circumstances, and knowledge of joint processes to improve labor-management relationships. Such experience must have been obtained within the most recent ten years. The bulletin also outlines 9 different areas of expertise relating to collective bargaining, including: "Advanced knowledge of collective bargaining practices gained through progressively responsible and successful experience in the negotiation and/or administration of collective bargaining agreements and the resolution of labor management conflict" and "Knowledge of economic, management and labor trends, and
of current developments and problems in the field of business."

- Moreover, if it's a bad agreement both sides can sign that they don't agree with it... so his second point here is false.

Finally, his third contention:

- All his economic analysis is taken from the UAW, which makes (on average) 300% higher wages than the average nonunionized private sector employee. Using data from the Bureau of Labor statistics, we find that unionized private sector workers earn, on average, 22% more than the average nonunionized worker. His economic analysis is off by about 278% :)

Instead, look to the empirical data from across the U.S. I give you - it is clearly shown, in my 3rd contention, that the economy benefits under the EFCA.
Debate Round No. 2
diety

Con

Ok then. I will first rebut my opponent's arguments and then support my own.

"Contention One: The EFCA restores workplace democracy."

Oh really.

:)

Ok first of all you talk about taking away the secret ballot because according to you employer pressure will what..... sway their vote?

O.o

And what the solution to this is taking this away and replacing it with the majority card checks?

Let me ask you this, how would the employers be able to fire people if they don't know who voted (with the secret ballot of course)?

You see with the secret ballot people are protected from coercion and intimidation because when it's all said and done the employers won't know who voted.

Also, the card checking system actually puts employees at the mercy of not the employers, but the unions. Card checking would leave employees open to union harrasment, coercion, and intimidation. What's worse is that with card checks, no one can vote AGAINST the union. That if anything is not democracy. Also, how would we be able to protect employees who are harrassed into signing a card, and their only defense against the union recognition is through a secret ballot?

:)

We couldn't. They would be doomed as they would have no power to stop the union.

"Giving employees the option to vote as they wish is clearly the first step to establishing workplace democracy." - What if they want to vote against the union? Wait... they can't

"Contention Two: The EFCA replenishes the American Economy"

^o^

This is like my favorite thing to rebut.

"1) Unionized firms compensate their workers more than nonunionized firms, meaning that workers have more money to put back into the economy. As a result, unionization has a positive impact on GDP development."

Well.... even though they have more money that's less money for the company (the people who pay the workers). You mess with the companies you mess with the jobs. Higher employee wages might seem good at first, but in the long run will hurt the company and eventually lead to job cuts and firm closings.

"2) Higher wages generate higher tax revenue. According to Economic Roundtable, a non-profit research institute for Los Angeles, higher wages from LA unions alone have generated 7 billion dollars in tax revenue on all levels of government."

The resolution concerns the american people. How exactly does this directly tie in to benefiting the american people because for what I know thats 7 billion dollars taken out of the pockets of the American people

"3) Higher wages benefit small businesses, as union workers have more money to spend – increasing the profit of regional businesses. In fact, Economic Roundtable estimates that in Los Angeles alone higher wages can account for 51 billion dollars of sales."

^o^

If anything, a union would HURT a small business, because that would obviously mean less money for the small business owners. Also, just because union workers have more money to spend doesn't serve as empirical proof suggesting that they will spend money on products from small businesses. Although there were 51 billion dollars in sales, there could've been $0 in sales concerning products of small business.

:)

Now to defend my case

"Let's address the CON case:

His C1:

- He argues for an increase in coercion. This is empirically untrue, look to my first contention, where i give you a study by Adrienne Eaton. To give you the actual numbers of that study, he finds that in the Card check election opposed to the secret ballot:

Employer coercion fell 50%
Employee coercion fell 4%
Union organizer coercion fell 6%"

What?! Correct me if I'm wrong this bill hasn't passed, so there's no way that there is empirical proof that can compare this card check system to the current law as it stands. There haven't been ANY majority card check elections.

Next.

"His only real analysis here, is that union reps get lots of signatures, but this can easily be explained. union organizers know that the coercive techniques and flat out threats the employers make will cause some to be scared into voting against unionization. This point is just a reflection of the full extent employer coercion has on employees."

Really? He's trying to say that people that vote against the union are just scared into doing so. Yet he fails to realize that this argument works both ways; unions have many coercive techniques and threats that can cause some to vote FOR unionization. Getting more cards would make this more likely.

Also, given my AFL-CIO statistic, the 25% that sign cards but vote against the union is empirical proof that not everyone who signs a card wants to join a union. They could've easily been bullied into signing a card and the secret ballot gave them the ability to defend themselves.

Alright then.

"He argues that arbitrators will be unknowledgable."

No, I'm just arguing that the arbiter has too much power. This arbiter guy is in total control of the business' wages now.

"- Moreover, if it's a bad agreement both sides can sign that they don't agree with it... so his second point here is false"

Well.... that's sort of incorrect. If you read the bill properly it says that an agreement will be made and can only be AMENDED if both sides sign for it. Also keep in mind that this contract keeps the union in for 2 years..... Oh, and that the EMPLOYEES (aka the american people) cannot hold a vote to terminate the contract if it's damaging to them. Also a "poor" decision could just be one that heavily favors one side.

:)

What I don't see is why mandatory binding arbitration is necessary. As far as I'm concerned, the system is fine as it is.

If it ain't broke don't fix it.

"- All his economic analysis is taken from the UAW, which makes (on average) 300% higher wages than the average nonunionized private sector employee. Using data from the Bureau of Labor statistics, we find that unionized private sector workers earn, on average, 22% more than the average nonunionized worker. His economic analysis is off by about 278% :)"

Well, you just proved the potential of abuse of collective bargaining. This bill would only make that worse and make it easier for unions to screw up wages like that.

Now let me sum this baby up.

What my opponent's case is built on is putting more money in the pockets of workers. However what he fails to realize is that this is not always suitable in every situation, and definitely shouldn't be done by force. He fails to realize that forcing higher wages can ultimately lead to job cuts. His argument only reaps short term effects. It'tl be all fun and games until suddenly the business goes bankrupt which I believe Chrysler is doing. Given this recession, if we value anything it ought to be the salvation of businesses as well as the creation of jobs.

Vote Con
Mickeyrocks

Pro

Mickeyrocks forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
diety

Con

As my arguments remain unrefuted I urge a CON ballot.

:)

Thank you
Mickeyrocks

Pro

Mickeyrocks forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
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Vote Placed by Lazy 8 years ago
Lazy
dietyMickeyrocksTied
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Vote Placed by vorxxox 8 years ago
vorxxox
dietyMickeyrocksTied
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