In the face of events like Occupy Wall Street, we should be ensuring that all workers have livable wages, health care, and can call in sick without being fired. Unions help protect workers and ensure that their rights are protected. Employers and the government aren't doing much of this right now. A corporation trying to keep a worker from a union is not respecting its worker's rights or best interests. Corporations only profit from a lack of unions and it hurts the people who work for them.
The Employee Free Choice Act should be signed into law so that current and future Americans are able to band together in labor unions for safe and fair work environments. Labor unions give workers a place to safely air their grievances, and also ensure a fair wage for all of their members.
With regulations protecting workers being gutted on a regular basis through lobbyists and corporate influence in Congress, working as an employee gets harder and harder, because you are forced to do more for less, with fewer respects for your right to be a decent human being at work. Something needs to be done to protect employees and push back corporations.
The good of the whole should not be sacrificed to satisfy the good of a few. Free enterprise cannot exist and flourish if forced to solely hire union workers, thereby falling subject to union control, negotiation, and demand. Unemployment for all workers will increase if the motivation for industry to create jobs is limited, due to unsustainable legacy programs often demanded by unions.
The Employee Free Choice Act will help restore the balance of power between employers and employees. Over the past decade, compensation for executives has soared while the real wages paid to workers have stagnated or even declined. Workers are told that wages must be held down to remain competitive, yet executive compensation in the US is far higher than what their competitors overseas earn. The Employee Free Choice Act will make it more difficult for corporations to use intimidation, scare tactics, and illegal dismissals to prevent employees from forming a union. Unions can stand up to a corporation better than individual employees can. The union for employees of the Washington Post demonstrated this recently when it demanded a wage increase of 16%, to match the pay increase awarded to the paper's publisher. The union wasn't serious about the demand, but was instead calling attention to the fact that an executive was getting bonuses and huge pay increases while the company wanted to regular employees to accept benefit cuts, rules making it easier to layoff employees, and lower severance pay for those laid off.
Workers have the right to form a union. But sadly, those most in need to do so lack the ability without this law. The lowest paid and unskilled workers are easily replaced, and lack the ability to form a union when the company can just threaten them all into disbanding their union. The Free Choice Act will help prevent an abusive company from forcing their workers to following their demands.
For me, it is all about freedom of choice, which is exactly what America is founded on. Workers should be able to go about their business and obligations without being coerced into an action by anyone, be it a corporation or a union. It is the right of the individual to make decisions that they feel appropriate, without being forced into it via threats or intimidation.
The Employee Free Choice Act should be signed into law. Workers should have the freedom to organize and protect themselves, and their compensation packages. In the past, corporations have used unscrupulous tactics to discourage their employees from joining unions. Thus, restricting their freedoms to lobby for better pay and benefits, as well as perpetuating a cycle of unfair treatment and compensation.
The workers who have the greatest need to unionize are the very ones most vulnerable to pressure from their employers -- unskilled, minimum-wage workers often without much knowledge of their rights and local labor laws. Employers have a vested interest in keeping such a work force ignorant and disorganized, and have tremendous leverage by way of draconian work conditions and firings.
This amendment to the National Labor Relations Act will provide those who wish to unionize with safeguards against firing and will impose penalties on those who attempt to fire or harm those who seek to unionize. With the work situation being what it is today the employers feel like they have the workers over the barrel because there is a perceived scarcity of jobs. This amendment is needed now more than ever as it will make it harder for these employers to abuse their employees. As someone who has participated in unionization of a business after the new CEO began mistreating the employees I know that there is a need for this kind of Act.
I do not think that the Free Choice Act should be signed into law, because it would give even more power to labor unions. The problem is that when labor unions have too much power, they begin to place heavier and heavier financial burdens on corporations. This means that, for example, a car manufacturer has to markup the price on their vehicles, because it has to pay increased wages and benefits to its employees. This, in turn, means an overall more expensive product that a consumer is much less willing to buy, in comparison to a foreign made vehicle that is of the same quality, but cheaper. The company becomes less competitive and either shuts down, or outsources its jobs to cheaper overseas manufacturing.
The Employee Free Choice Act removes the privacy of the ballot box when voting on joining a union. The Employee Free Choice Act allows card check, for which union organizers can approach individuals and present the card for voting in public. This creates the opportunity for unions to badger people until they vote. It also allows the union to harass those who do not vote for the union because their vote card is not private. If a bare majority of 50%+1 vote for the union and there are allegations of threats by the union, employers and employees alike are denied a second validation vote under the Employee Free Choice Act. If the union and the employer disagree on a contract, the Employee Free Choice Act takes away negotiations and gives the arbitration to a union dominated "arbitration board". The Employee Free Choice Act also states that once an employer is unionized, employees at a later date cannot choose to opt out. Once union, always union. The Employee Free Choice Act takes away employee choice and the privacy of their choice. It is an oxymoron.