Monday, May 25, 2009

an odd way to define democracy

From Harold Meyerson as republished in the C-J...

If our nation was governed by business' version of democratic choice, we would hold elections to determine the winner, but nearly half the time the incumbent would remain in power even if he lost.

In its campaign to derail the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA), business has fearlessly depicted itself as the defender of elections and the secret ballot as well as the foe of the dread "card check" — the process, championed by unions and included within EFCA, that would allow workers to sign union affiliation cards rather than compelling them to go through a ratification election in which harassment and firings of workers are all too common....

Mr. Meyerson would like to have "elections" to choose Presidents, Congressional reps, judges and dog catchers-- and decide referenda, etc.-- by collecting cards as well?

[The status quo is] a lovely system for businesses that don't want to pay higher wages or accord their workers some rights...

Workers have rights; Meyerson wants to give them more. He should start with an accurate description of the status quo before proposing changes.

Of course, firms don't want to pay higher wages-- anymore than workers want to accept lower wage or consumers want to pay higher prices. The bigger issue: Firms don't want to deal with the power of a labor market cartel. Meyerson apparently trusts (some) monopolies and cartels for equitable and efficient outcomes.

Among the suggested alternatives to card check are proposals to shorten the currently open-ended period between the request for election and the actual vote (today, management can stall a vote almost indefinitely) and to allow workers to vote by mailing their ballots to the National Labor Relations Board in Washington, which (like absentee voting) would preserve the secret ballot but enable workers to escape the regimen of threats they often encounter in the weeks preceding an election.

Both of those sound quite reasonable...

2 Comments:

At May 25, 2009 at 3:38 PM , Blogger MrsWebster said...

The title on this piece made me gag. I couldn't even read the article because the headline was so blatently biased I knew there was no point! WTG CJ!

 
At May 25, 2009 at 3:39 PM , Blogger MrsWebster said...

Sorry should have been more clearer - the title in the CJ is what I was referring to. ;)

 

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