Friday, March 13, 2009

WIRTW #70: The Employee Free Choice Act Edition

On Tuesday, Congressional Democrats introduced the Employee Free Choice Act in both Houses of Congress. This legislation will present the most contentious Congressional debates Washington has seen in at least a generation. If passed, it will radically alter union/management relations by permitting the certification of labor unions without a secret ballot election and by mandating binding arbitration for all first collective bargaining agreements. Because I can’t possible provide all of the coverage due this important legislation, this week’s WIRTW is dedicated to the EFCA:

  • If you want to read the bill for yourself, the EFCA Report has links to its full text.

  • If you can’t stand the thought of reading legislation, several blogs have useful summaries of the EFCA’s key provisions: The Labor & Employment Blog; the Washington Labor & Employment Wire; Mark Toth’s Manpower Employment Blawg; and the Employeescreen IQ Blog.

  • The U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s ChamberPost details its efforts to fight against the EFCA’s passage, busts some common union myths about the ECFA, and provides an economic analysis against the EFCA. The most striking number is an estimate that the passage of the EFCA would cost our country 600,000 jobs the following year.

  • The Word on Employment Law with John Phillips has another take on the EFCA and the economy.

  • Frank Roche’s KnowHR Blog asks if your employees are ready to take the heat from unions if the EFCA passes.

  • posts a video of MSNBC’s liberal standard-bearer, Rachel Maddow, and suggests that she read the text of the bill before she editorializes on it.

  • World of Work links to another video, this one by the SIEU, which comments on management’s use of “scare tactics” against the EFCA.

  • HR Observations talks about the dangers of the EFCA’s lesser-known arbitration provisions.

  • There are a couple rays of sunshine: ECFA Updates reports that Senate Democratic support for the bill might be wavering, and the EFCA Report suggests that some compromises might already be in the works to get this bill passed.

  • Finally, Daniel Nichanian at Campaign Diaries has a detailed breakdown of where the Senate stands today on both support for the bill and support of a cloture to end the guaranteed Republican filibuster on the EFCA. With 44 Senators (which includes Al Fraken, who has not yet been formally seated) either co-sponsoring or openly supporting the bill, Daniel focuses on the 16 swing votes, Senators who have supported the bill in the past but have not yet taken a stand on the 2009 version. The Senate Democrats will have enough votes to pass the EFCA; the question is whether they will have enough votes for the cloture. Stay tuned - this promises to be very exciting.

Presented by Kohrman Jackson & Krantz, with offices in Cleveland and Columbus.

For more information, contact Jon Hyman, a partner in our Labor & Employment group, at (216) 736-7226 or