EFCA Update

by | Dec 3, 2010 | Labor Relations Ink

Big Labor can still count the current administration in Washington their friend. Harry Reid’s first move to pay back the unions for their efforts to save his Nevada Senate seat is a promised cloture vote on the Public Safety Employer-Employee Cooperation Act, a bill which basically nationalizes the country’s police, fire and other first responder personnel. The law would replace with federal rules all state laws on collective bargaining between state and local governments and their first responder unions and would greatly empower unions to dictate pay scales and benefits on a national level. Working in tandem with this move, the Federal Labor Relations Authority ruled that TSA agents would be allowed to select representation by a union, although they would be currently restricted from allowing the union to engage in collective bargaining on their behalf. Although it makes no sense on the surface (why would someone want to pay union dues to an organization that can’t do anything for them?), the obvious next step is for unions to push for collective bargaining rights for TSA agents. But maybe unions will just convince congress to allow TSA employees to pay dues even if they can’t get anything during collective bargaining. After all, that’s kind of how it works in the private sector today. The NLRB General Counsel is also grasping for more territory. He is seeking to define discriminatory actions that occur outside the period of union organizing as an action that could inhibit organizing in the future, and thus classify more employee mayhem as protected activity. He is seeking to add teeth to the bite, using the threat of contempt, and possible back pay awards including interest. As we suggested earlier, the United Nations has entered the fight for more union-friendly labor laws. In the latest move, at the behest of the UFCW, the UN has threatened the Ontario and Canadian governments with global scrutiny and pressure unless changes are made to their farm labor laws. The announcement of the UN ruling was made Nov. 18th.

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