Employer rights to counter union organizing drives are once again facing a challenge. The “Change to Win Coalition” and the AFL/CIO have cemented relationships with politicians who support laws to restrict the rights of companies to educate their employees on the realism of union representation.
The union’s first strategy was to create a national campaign for the “holy grail” of pro-union laws with the House passage of the HR 800 bill. Even though the bill was defeated in the Senate, the AFL/CIO has deemed this nationwide dialog and the fact that politicians were pressured to get off the proverbial fence and show their support for organized labor as an enormous victory! Since then, the AFL/CIO has promised increased pressure and has continued to strengthen its core on a local and state level. This bottom up strategy is supported by the surprising support they received in the HR 800 House of Representative vote, where 13 Republicans actually voted with the Democrats. Both leading Democratic candidates have promised to support the passage of a similar bill if elected. Senator Ted Kennedy and AFL/CIO President John Sweeney have estimated an increase of over 60 million union members with the passage of a card check bill.
West Virginia’s House of Representatives have passed the nation’s first-ever proposed state law, which would prohibit management from mandating employee informational meetings during union organizing campaigns. The bill is now heading to the State Senate for a vote of passage. If passed, this law would take away the rights of management to educate employees on the truths of unions and take away their fundamental right to direct their workforce to attend educational meetings while on the clock.
If management loses their rights to hold mandatory meetings to discuss unionization then unions will use the meeting attendance as a poll to gauge support and use pressure tactics to prevent employees to attend management meetings. If this bill passes it would have a chilling effect on your employees’ rights under Section 7 of the Labor Relations Act to vote for or against union representation without harassment by either the employer or the union.
Unions have positioned themselves to spend more money and build more grassroots support on the ground during this election cycle than ever before to ensure a democrat is elected to the White House and to keep a Democratic majority in Congress. On January 10, 2008 at an executive committee meeting in Washington D.C., John Sweeny (AFL/CIO President) stated, “the time to show our muscle and pass these laws is now or never!”
As management, you must also flex your muscle and fight back. Write to your local, state and federal government and voice your concerns. Unions see this as an avenue to recruit new members because new members equate to new monies and not because they want what is best for their members. A law similar to HR800 not only affects your ability to have a fair election but also eliminates your employees ability to truly vote for or against representation as outlined in the National Labor Act. For more information contact me at 313.218.0371 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org