Organized Labor's Legislative Agenda and its Impact on Your Business. Are You Ready?
Organized labor's membership in the private sector has plummeted below 8 % – an all time low. To address this problem, unions have turned to an aggressive legislative agenda designed to tilt the scales in their favor. Among the items on their priority list are the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) and the Re-Employment of Skilled and Professional Employees and Construction Tradeworkers Act (RESPECT Act).
At the top of labor's wish list is EFCA, a bill that would radically alter 75 years of labor law governing the representation rights of employees. Specifically, EFCA would fundamentally change three critical aspects of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) by:
providing for the elimination of NLRB-supervised secret ballot elections in favor of "card check," thereby enabling unions to organize employees merely by convincing or coercing a majority of them to sign authorization cards;
changing the rules of bargaining by imposing mandatory interest arbitration on those parties who fail to reach an agreement on their own within 130 days; and
subjecting employers to substantially increased penalties and remedial relief.
The RESPECT Act is an effort to narrow the scope of individuals who would be considered "supervisors" under the NLRA. If passed, it would substantially reduce the number of employees considered supervisory, thereby increasing the number of employees eligible for union representation. From a practical standpoint, the RESPECT Act would also decrease the number of employees permitted to campaign on behalf of the employer in response to a union organizing effort.
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