"How did it come to pass that an opposition's measure of a president's foreign policy was all or nothing, success or "failure"? The answer is that the political absolutism now normal in Washington arrived at the moment--Nov. 7, 2000--that our politics subordinated even a war against terror to seizing the office of the presidency." - Daniel Henninger - WSJ 11/18/05
"the slovenliness of our language makes it easier for us to have foolish thoughts." - George Orwell

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

The NYTimes Right to Dis-organize

Short title: `Employee Free Choice Act of 2007' (not to be mistaken with `Employee Free Choice Act of 2008,’ `Employee Free Choice Act of 2009 and so on)

The New York Times lead editorial today puts the blame right at the president’s feet regarding the "Employee Free Choice Act."

From the editorial board:

"The House of Representatives passed a bill last week that would strengthen the rights of employees to form unions, and it drew an immediate veto threat from President Bush. But if Mr. Bush were, as he claims, truly concerned about rising income inequality and truly committed to improving the lives of America’s middle class, he would support the legislation and urge the Senate to approve it."

H. R. 800:

"To amend the National Labor Relations Act to establish an efficient system to enable employees to form, join, or assist labor organizations, to provide for mandatory injunctions for unfair labor practices during organizing efforts, and for other purposes."

One has to wonder what it is that our leaders consider “efficient,” which I find laughable. Most politicians spend their days speaking about how they intend to fix something that isn’t broken; the only reason one might think the something is broken is because so and so said so.

The editorial board believes the most significant change that will be brought about by the bill is “majority signup” wherein employees at a company that wish to unionize get a majority of employees signatures on a petition. According to the Times (italics mine)

“Under current law, an employer can reject the majority’s signatures and insist on a secret ballot. But in a disturbingly high number of cases, the employer uses the time before the vote to pressure employees to rethink their decision to unionize.”

Further the editorial board states the argument of the bills “opponents,” as:

“Replacing secret ballots with the majority signup would be undemocratic.”

It appears that the editorialists state that as it is, an employer can say NO to the majority signatures petition. Yet SC 159 (e) Secret ballot, limitation of elections references “30 per centum.” The language to SEC. 2. STREAMLINING UNION CERTIFICATION from H.R. 800 amends by following the 30% requirement, which allows for a “secret ballot,” if an election hasn’t taken place in the past 12 months. So to simplify, the “majority signatures” do not overwrite the 30% as much as they enhance it by following it numerically and alphabetically, i.e. SC 159 (e) (1) and (2) at the end ADD (6) and (7) (A) yada, yada, yada.

The editorial board wants the reader to believe “opponents” are against something, which according to the paper already exists, but this is an out right lie by the paper; it’s 30%. Am I being petty? I don’t think so, as if the paper wants to advocate an for a certain argument, it would be nice if they could do it honestly.

The papers lying aside, I think I would be more comfortable voting secretly with the hopes of avoiding any ramifications for my vote from my employer; since the vote was “secret.” But then I am not (at least as of today), affected by this change as employees of company A or B may be; yet neither are the politicians or the paper.

I am not claiming to be an expert in the intricacies of legalese that even an attorney might have trouble with, nor do I advocate for either side of the argument. I do however question the understanding/honesty/integrity of the New York Times editorial board when it suggests that if the president were truly concerned about the little guy (one is supposed to assume the Times is), he wouldn’t veto, let alone threaten to do so to H.R. 800; when the board does not even describe it correctly/honestly.

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