As many of you who have read my previous articles know, I really try to put a little humorous perspective (in my opinion) on many of the ridiculous notions and outcomes that our beloved politicians provide us as gifts. It's not that I don't trust them (I don't); it's just that I have a difficult time believing they have any concept of what the other 303,824,640 of us value or think. Over and over, they prove to me that we are uneducated, indifferent, ignorant and incapable of reason. I realize that may be a bit overstated, but consider if you will:
The new Secretary of the Treasury and head of the IRS received confirmation after testifying he did not pay $34,000 in past taxes because his Turbo Tax software did not remind him. (Duh. Anyone want to try that when his agency audits you?)
The politicians dole out $250 billion in T.A.R.P. (Troubled Relief Asset Program) funds to financial institutions without requiring accountability and then are outraged when the institutions won't say how they are using the money while paying obscene bonuses. Admittedly, that is wrong and stupid, but how could the politicians be surprised? (Raise your hand if you were surprised by these events and don't pay your taxes. Hold them up high now so I can get a good count! There's got to be at least one. Interesting.)
General Motors and Chrysler receive $25 billion in bailout funds in spite of not building cars that Americans want to buy, failure to develop high-mileage autos, accepting absurd union contracts, paying their executives “too much” and being forced to switch from a corporate jet to a hybrid just to beg for money. (Again, a great surprise! Everybody I talked to, including several of you, thought they should never have received a bailout, much less $25 BILLION. Yikes!)
Fun things aside, I need to not talk seriously about the pending “Card Check” or so-called Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA), which probably will be working its way through Congress as you read this. Some politicians promised unions this insidious legislation would pass with their election support. The targets are businesses in retail, construction, transportation and distribution, because they are industries that cannot export their workforce overseas.
If this law is enacted, union organizers will be able to contact your employees over a weekend, at their homes or by inviting them, for example, to an after-work pizza party across the street from your company. At those meetings, they will work to obtain as many signatures on “card check” cards over that weekend as possible. On Sunday evening, the union organizers meet, spread the signed cards out on a table and count them. If they did not get cards signed by 50 percent of your employees, they sort the cards by job description to determine if there are subsets of workers from whom they got enough signatures. Using this “unit manipulation,” the unions can organize the pickers or drivers or any group of workers within a company. Under current law, they must present the cards to the employer, who can insist on a secret ballot election. However, under EFCA, on Monday, the union faxes the signed cards to the NLRB from any subgroup of workers from which they obtained a majority of cards and then present them to the CEO of your company. At that point, the union becomes — immediately and automatically — the certified bargaining agent for that group of workers in your business. You would have no recourse and would have to begin negotiating a collective bargaining agreement. If you do not reach an agreement in 120 days, the union will demand the negotiations to move to binding arbitration. The decisions of the arbitrator are binding for two years and apply to both parties.
I encourage you to follow this legislation on the HARDI Legislative Alerts and immediately contact your representatives to vote against this terrible legislation.
Don Frendberg, Executive vice president / COO