I was in D.C. a few years ago when Senator Ted Kennedy and Reps. George Miller and Peter King were introducing the most significant piece of labor legislation since — probably — Gerald Ford was president. I managed to get this snapshot.
I feel a part of history this way. So when I first saw this ad on TV yesterday, it blew me away for its outright distortion of reality and for its ethnic stereotyping. I can’t decide which disgusts me more.
The “Coalition for a Democratic Workplace” is the anti-union outfit that put together this ad. It’s intended to turn unwary viewers against the Employee Free Choice Act.
What’s this Coalition for a Democratic Workplace gaggle of union busters getting at?
Well, the legislation (H.R. 800, S. 1041)
Provides for certification of a union as the bargaining representative if the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) finds that a majority of employees in an appropriate unit has signed authorizations designating the union as its bargaining representative.
Yeah, but that wouldn’t prompt an ad like this. Wait a minute. Maybe what really prompted the ad is that the act
Requires the board to develop model authorization language and procedures for establishing the validity of signed authorizations.
Aha! Validating signatures means somebody knows who voted! Because their votes were — validated! Ooooohhh ooooh. Let’s keep things as they are.
There are also procedures for first contract negotiations and penalties for bad behavior by employers for taking action against employees trying to form a union.
Errrrr… penalties for bad employers? The ad didn’t bring that up. However —
That last part really would have the union buster industry’s shorts in a twist. Especially since the bill passed the House overwhelmingly last year. What’s a “management consultant” to do?
In fact, every member of the New York delegation (except Walsh, Reynolds, and Kuhl) were co-sponsors of the respective House and Senate bills. Makes you wonder why the union busters are spending ad money in New York.
Because they can?