Efca Summary

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Short overview of the proposed Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) and its implications

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Efca Summary

  1. 1. Employee Free Choice Act
  2. 2. Why EFCA? <ul><li>Labor unions are businesses </li></ul><ul><li>Unionized workforce has dropped from 35% to 8% in the last 40 years </li></ul><ul><li>“ After struggling for a time to come up with a strategy…labor had an epiphany… rather than winning back the hearts and minds of working people, unions could change the rules of organizing the collective bargaining to improve their prospects of growth. EFCA represents labor’s big “Hail Mary.” (Law360, New York,12/09/08) </li></ul>
  3. 3. What Is EFCA? <ul><li>“ The Employee Free Choice Act” is a piece of legislation that will, if signed into law, result in union organization on a scale we haven’t seen since the 1930’s. </li></ul><ul><li>Key provisions of the act include: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The elimination of secret ballot elections regardless of whether or not employees want union representation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Signed authorization cards, which are often obtained fraudulently, will be accepted as valid by the National Labor Relations Board </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Contract negotiations must begin within ten days after the union acquires a simple majority of signed authorization cards </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>$25k fine for each employee-rights violation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>90 day period to negotiate first contract </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Either party may refer to FMCS for mediation for 30 days </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>After 120 days, mandatory arbitration (results binding for 2 years) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A second piece of legislation called the “Respect Act” mandates that first-line supervisors must be included in the union bargaining unit </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The economic recession and resulting layoffs gives organized labor an even greater advantage </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. Union Organizing Under Current Law Employees sign union cards Petition filed with NLRB NLRB supervised secret ballot election Union and company campaign IF union wins majority of votes … Company must bargain in “good faith” <ul><li>Minimum of 30% of the workforce has to sign organizing cards </li></ul><ul><li>Once enough cards are signed, union can file petition for election with NLRB, and secret ballot election is held. Usually within 42 days </li></ul><ul><li>During this campaign period, both the union and company have the ability to communicate their message to the workforce </li></ul>
  5. 5. Union Organizing Under EFCA Employees sign union cards Petition filed with NLRB NLRB supervised secret ballot election Union and company campaign IF union wins majority of votes … Company must bargain in “good faith” Company’s opportunity to campaign against unionization is eliminated !! 50% OR MORE SIGNED AUTHORIZATION CARDS RESULT IN UNION WIN
  6. 6. Why Should You Care? <ul><li>Do you want any of the following for your business? </li></ul><ul><li>Increased operating costs of 25%-40% ( assuming no increase in pay and benefits) </li></ul><ul><li>Increased cost and inefficiencies because of restrictive work rules and practices. </li></ul><ul><li>Costly and disruptive grievances, arbitrations, slow-downs, work stoppages, and strikes </li></ul><ul><li>Crippling of productivity resulting from a “we vs. they” culture </li></ul><ul><li>Deterioration of performance standards </li></ul><ul><li>Less competitive nationally and globally </li></ul>
  7. 7. We Never Had a Union So We Are Not At Risk! <ul><li>Failure to remove “misfits” </li></ul><ul><li>Expecting overqualified or higher paid employees to do lower-qualified or lower paid work. </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of courtesy, respect and fair consideration from managers, supervisors and others </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of effort to motivate employees </li></ul><ul><li>Failure to LISTEN and UNDERSTAND employees BEFORE making decisions or providing responses. </li></ul><ul><li>Failure to persuade employees that wage and benefit terms are fair and competitive. </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of attention to employee facilities – lavatories, eating areas, parking, etc… </li></ul><ul><li>Failure to give employees a sense of security and a feeling that they have a job others want. </li></ul><ul><li>Handing out surprises in work schedules, time off, work assignments or pay cuts, or other unannounced changes. </li></ul><ul><li>Failure to communicate truthfully what employees need to know about the Company and their jobs. </li></ul><ul><li>Making or implying promises that are not kept or making vague promises that are subject to misinterpretation by employees. </li></ul>
  8. 8. We Never Had a Union! We Are Not At Risk! Are We? <ul><li>Failure to persuade employees that criticism or discipline is for THEIR benefit, not solely for the Company’s benefit. </li></ul><ul><li>Having a “small” person for a boss – a supervisor who sets a bad example, is snobbish, and/or has a little clique of favorite employees. </li></ul><ul><li>Failure to respond to employee questions, problems and complaints. </li></ul><ul><li>Absence of an effective employee communication program. </li></ul><ul><li>Absence of an effective employee problem-solving procedure. </li></ul><ul><li>Absence of an effective mechanism for monitoring employee complaints. </li></ul><ul><li>Absence of an employee evaluation procedure. </li></ul><ul><li>Presence or perception of supervisory favoritism. </li></ul><ul><li>Absence of a clear and consistent employee policies and procedures. </li></ul><ul><li>Absence of fair, equal and nondiscriminatory disciplinary procedures. </li></ul>
  9. 9. Sound Unbelievable? <ul><li>President Obama and Vice President Biden coauthored the bill. </li></ul><ul><li>Bill already passed the Congress. </li></ul><ul><li>Organized labor invested $450M in the Obama campaign and Democrats have 60+ solid votes (filibuster-proof) in support of the act. </li></ul><ul><li>The AFL-CIO has a war chest of $14M dedicated to passage of the act. </li></ul><ul><li>Democrats, organized labor, and the media have done an excellent job of keeping all of this quiet throughout the campaign. </li></ul>
  10. 10. <ul><li>The Wall Street Journal The binding arbitration rule would also strip workers of valuable rights. They would no longer be able to vote on a contract that their unions negotiated with management and submitted back for rank-and-file approval. This will make union leaders less accountable.

Arbitration would also make the difficult job of getting rid of a union harder. Federal law limits the time periods when workers can petition to decertify a union. For new unions, workers can petition if the union has gone a year without securing a contract. Under arbitration, workers could only boot their union at the end of the government-imposed contract. So the bill also provides a form of job protection — for unions, not workers. </li></ul>
  11. 11. Is There Any Good News? <ul><li>Absolutely. </li></ul><ul><li>You know this is happening so you can prepare </li></ul><ul><li>It is possible to “union-proof” any organization </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Create a highly positive work environment that renders unions irrelevant </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Educate ALL employees </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Communicate, communicate, and communicate </li></ul></ul>

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