Organized labor and business groups are facing off in an increasingly intense battle over legislation that would make it easier to organize unions as labor seeks to bolster its dwindling ranks and propel its agenda.
The Employee Free Choice Act, which would require employers to recognize unions once a majority of workers sign cards of support, would be perhaps the most significant change in federal labor law in six decades. Currently, employers can demand that workers hold secret-ballot elections on whether to organize; labor organizers say that method allows companies to pressure workers through a formal campaign
The political pressure is building and the Unions smell a victory! Individually and collectively they have already spent $200 million on advertising and campaigning, by the time the polls close on 4 November, that figure will have doubled.
The unions have a lot at stake on this election, their membership numbers have been dropping with the exception of last year and they need to grow organizing numbers.
They have built a million person support base for the Employee Free Chose Act and have been lobbying Congress quite aggressively. They have promised to hold politicians who don’t support this bill accountable to them; they have promised to support and fund challengers to oppose anyone who votes against this bill. This illustrates that the unions are willing to use what almost equates to political blackmail to achieve there goal.
Senator Obama has pledged his support for the Employee Free Choice Act. Ted Kennedy and many other members of congress has vowed to pass the EFCA in the first 6 months of the new administration if Senator Obama wins. Even without Obama in the White House, the Democrats in Congress expect a veto-proof majority to pass the EFCA bill.
Senator Obama has every major union in the country supporting him in this election. Their member mobilization and email grass roots system to millions of members and supporters is far beyond anything the republications can dream of. The unions are selling the passage of this bill to their current membership as a way of achieving union density in every industry and forcing companies to agree to outrageous and unreasonable union demands in a less than perfect economy.
The AFL/CIO have organized massive door-to-door events organized across the country. Unions dispatched thousands of volunteers to knock on doors and sway the last few uncommitted voters who may be left in battleground states because they need a big democrat win.
Nationally, the figures on labor's involvement in the election are staggering. A recent AFL-CIO report indicates the nation's largest labor federation has more than 750,000 volunteers making 75 million phone calls, distributing 37 million worksite fliers and knocking on 25 million doors.
Aside from the card-check proposal, organized labor leaders say they plan to soon pursue measures that would result in expanded paid leave and health-care benefits, which small-business advocates say could cripple some struggling firms.
The time to start training your management team is now! The best defense against a very expensive union organizing campaign or a future card check signature drive is to make sure your employee’s direct supervisors have excellent communication skills and they are actively listening to the concerns of their employees and understand the importance of assisting employee needs while driving your organization forward.