Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Juridics: USA: Proposed anti-democracy union law may die on the docket

Congressional newspaper/webs+t, The Hill, reported yesterday (Michael O'Brien, Sept 14,2k10) that the Obama AFL-CIO consortium in the House of Representatives may not be able to muster the votes to choke democracy in labor representation, as it has planned.

Obama: Chances of passing 'card check' now are 'not real high'

By Michael O'Brien 09/13/10 02:42 PM ET
Controversial "card-check" legislation doesn't have a good chance of passing through Congress, President Obama acknowledged Monday. 
Obama, during a question-and-answer session about the economy in a backyard in Fairfax, Va., said the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA, or "card check") likely doesn't have the 60 votes right now to make it through the Senate.

"The opportunity to get this passed right now is not real high," Obama said.

The president noted his administration is supportive of EFCA, though the window of opportunity to push through the union organizing bill has diminished over time. Labor groups had been hopeful it was one of the first items on which Democrats in the House and Senate would act after winning big majorities in the 2008 elections. 
With this fall's elections likely to give Republicans stronger footing in the House and Senate — if not a majority in one or both houses — the chances of EFCA advancing come next year are seen as fading.
Obama told the AFL-CIO in early August that his administration would "keep on fighting" for the card check bill, which Republican and business interests have rallied against. But the president also pivoted to note that many of the problems in organizing rules that EFCA sought to address might be fixed through administrative action. 
In the opinion of this observer, the card check scheme is a full-fledged totalitarian manoeuver to establish one philosophy of labour representation and to block permanently any really-alternative unions based on latent forces for change in the American workforce's system of unionization.  Read more ...

It's no secret that a nonsectarian Christian re-unionization of workers has long been advocated by refWr+t.  Certainly this horizon of hope is possible across the USA.  Opportunities to campaign publicly were offered by the tangle of events in the auto industry in recent years, where the hegemony of the UAW was not broken and opened to alternative unions (plural streams of representation at General Motors for its workers), altho the taxes of all Americans were deployed to keep the company going and its workers employed at public expense.  My guesstimate is that a Christianly-principled union coud garner upwards of 20% of workers'   votes at that company.  Closed shops must go!
Another situation occured at the un-unionized workplace of West Virginia workers where safety measures were in abeyance and the anti-union company was found to be complacent in protecting mineworkers, deep in WV's Bible Belt.  Surely, a Christian alternative union that excluded no one and forced no one coud have been powerfully and effectively offered to the miners who have long resisted joining the secularist United Mineworkers (I'm not trashing this union, because my grandfather worked under their auspices for year).  They're still good guys in my perceptions (altho I haven't kept up with the 60 years of internal developments in the UMW, since Grandpa Frank died of black-lung disease in the Pennsylvania coal region).  To have been brawt the Good News for WV's workforce still languishing unorganized and un-unionized in many of its mines, coud have made labor history.
Many other instances, especially in locations in America where the Christian demographic is relatively large, coud be listed.   A social-studies researcher coud wr+t a Master's thesis on the correlation between faith-commitment demographics and unionization / nonunionization patterns, locality by locality of h+ Christian presence, employer by employer in each locality.  I think such a study woud tell us something important about opportunities for a wave of pluralization of labor representation.  There is a very small Chrsitian labor union in the USA, the Christian Labor Association USA.
Christian Principles are in our founding and guiding philosophy, the CLA is not a church or a church-based organization. We accept and represent members of all faiths. Members are attracted to the CLA by its labor relations policies, its principles, its common-sense approach to workplace issues, and by the services it offers. We believe in justice in the workplace, whether it's about pay, benefits, work relations, or conflicts that arise, people expect and deserve to be treated fairly.  ... The CLA works to promote harmony between Employer and Employee. This makes us a unique organization. The CLA is a labor union, certified by the National Labor Relations Board and similar state and local agencies. Our right to act as bargaining agents for employees is protected by law. The CLA is not affiliated with a large international union, but democratically governed by its membership. The CLA promotes harmony among all workers. Our method of operation allows for the crossing of trade lines, eliminating craft disputes. The CLA realizes that the livelihood of the employer and employee is derived from the same source.
CLA-USA has been around since 1931, but of course it has had its own internal development (amidst strong and hateful resistance from America's monopolistic unions which don't have room in their values and practices for a pluralization of representation so that cooperating multi-union representation can flourish, affording to each worker membership in a union formed on the basis of different life-principles in the sphere of work relations.  That woud entail inter-union negotiation in many places -- automakers, miners, airline workers, construction s+ts, docks and American-flag ships, industrial farms, you name the trade or profession -- as it occurs in the Netherlands, France, many other European countries, many developing countries.
Rather, in America (Canada, UK, Australia) unions woud rather retreat into arrangements that further curb democracy in workers representation, such as the Obama govt and the AFL-CIO masters have proposed.  May the pining legislation die on the vine!  May the True Vine prevail, also in labor relations in America.

-- Lawt

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