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H.R.800 Wants You To Have Choices, McCain Doesn’t

August 8, 2008

Unlikely HR 800 will be addressed during the 110 Congress, Bush would Veto it anyway.  McCain will Veto it if elected.

H.R.800 SUMMARY AS OF: 3/1/2007–Passed House amended.    (There are 2 other summaries)

Employee Free Choice Act of 2007 – Amends the National Labor Relations Act to require the National Labor Relations Board to certify a bargaining representative without directing an election if a majority of the bargaining unit employees have authorized designation of the representative (card-check) and there is no other individual or labor organization currently certified or recognized as the exclusive representative of any of the employees in the unit.

Sets forth special procedural requirements for reaching an initial collective bargaining agreement following certification or recognition.

Revises enforcement requirements with respect to unfair labor practices during union organizing drives, particularly a preliminary investigation of an alleged unfair labor practice which may lead to proceedings for injunctive relief.

Requires that priority be given to a preliminary investigation of any charge that, while employees were seeking representation by a labor organization, or during the period after a labor organization was recognized as a representative until the first collective bargaining contract is entered into, an employer: (1) discharged or otherwise discriminated against an employee to encourage or discourage membership in the labor organization; (2) threatened to discharge or to otherwise discriminate against an employee in order to interfere with, restrain, or coerce employees in the exercise of guaranteed self-organization or collective bargaining rights; or (3) engaged in any other related unfair labor practice that significantly interferes with, restrains, or coerces employees in the exercise of such guaranteed rights.

Adds to remedies for such violations: (1) back pay plus liquidated damages; and (2) additional civil penalties.

Related Bills: H.RES.203S.1041

2008 Presidential candidate for the Republicans, Senator John McCain (R. AZ) opposes the EFCA saying:  “I am strongly opposed to H.R. 800, the so-called Employee Free Choice Act of 2007. Not   only is the bill’s title deceptive, the enactment of such an ill-conceived legislative measure would be a gross deception to the hard-working Americans who would fall victim to it.”

McCain co-sponsored the Republican opposition bill, The Secret Ballot Protection Act (S. 1312) which eliminates the use of the currently optional card check procedure.

Corporate America Prepares for Battle Against Worker Campaign to Roll Back Assault on the Middle Class

There will be many heated legislative battles if 2008 shakes out with larger Congressional majorities for Democrats and an Obama White House — fights over war and peace, energy policy, health care reform and immigration. But it may be a bill that many Americans have never heard of that sparks the most pitched battle Washington has seen since the Civil Rights Act. It’s called the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) — a measure that would go a long way toward guaranteeing working people the right to join a union if they so choose — and it has the potential to reverse more than three decades of painful stagflation, with prices rising and paychecks flat, for America’s middle class and working poor.

Unions are actively promoting this bill as resurrecting America’s middle class.  There are interesting arguments for both sides.  The context of this bill will determine if the spirit of this bill gets exorcised or empowered.  Media attention has been suppressed because the Bush Administration just won’t allow the discussion.

Against For

Either way, this bill must not be ignored.  The issue is so important that it deserves everyone’s attention.  How you are treated in the workplace is the whole reason for unions, to begin with.  Over the years, unions and companies have engaged in a tug of war for control over employee rights vs company rights.  Both sides have a history of extortion and bad behavior, when it comes to controlling workers.  The wording in H.R. 800 will determine if Congress can level the playing field and allow both sides a fair set of defined regulations.  It should never be a choice of victims.  It should be a choice for prosperity for all by making companies and workers a team with equitable rewards.

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One Comment
  1. August 8, 2008 12:28 pm

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    Ghazala Khan
    The Pakistani Spectator
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