Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Union membership has dropped considerably in recent years. Now there are renewed efforts to form unions for workers who traditionally were never a big target, such as home health-care workers in Missouri. And organizers are pushing hard in Congress for new rules that give unions a tremendous advantage and virtually shut management out of the process.
The biggest push is for card-check, the Employee Free Choice Act. This would allow organizers to collect signature cards from half the workers in a business and form a union local. Currently, a secret ballot must be held to form a local, and employers are given an opportunity to discuss the issues with their employees.
Other pro-union efforts in Congress would shorten the time before a union-organizing vote is held, bar companies from requiring employees to hear management's side and require binding arbitration to impose a union contract.
Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder is leading an effort called Save Our Secret Ballot that would amend the Missouri Constitution to require secret votes in union elections. By changing the state's constitution, Missouri would be in a position to challenge whatever pro-union federal laws are adopted. This is an effort to protect fairness, not stop union organization.