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Omaha Steve Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-21-09 04:47 PM
Original message
Costco, Starbucks, Whole Foods Present Alternative Labor Plan
Source: Washington Post


By Alec MacGillis

As business and labor gird for battle over legislation that would make it easier for workers to organize, the debate could be transformed by a "third way" proposed by three companies that like to project a progressive image -- Costco, Starbucks and Whole Foods.

Like other businesses, the three companies are opposed to two of the Employee Free Choice Act's components -- a provision that would allow workers to form a union if a majority sign pro-union cards, without having to hold a secret ballot election, and one that would impose binding arbitration when employers and unions fail to reach a contract after 120 days.

But the companies' CEOs say that they also recognize that just opposing the legislation, dubbed "card-check," is not enough, because of the widespread perception in Democrat-dominated Washington that there is not a level playing field between labor and business. So the CEOs have come up with ideas they hope will form the basis of new legislation.

Their proposal would maintain management's right to demand a secret ballot election, and would leave out binding arbitration. The proposal would keep the third main element of the "card-check" bill -- toughening the penalties for companies that retaliate against workers before union elections or refuse to engage in collective bargaining. But it would also toughen penalties for union violations, and it would make it easier for businesses to call elections to try to decertify a union.


Read more: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/20...



So many things wrong with this counter offer.
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billyoc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-21-09 04:52 PM
Response to Original message
1. LOL, "union violations".
There have been about 50 documented cases of union intimidation versus 29,000 cases of employers intimidating workers.

Yeah, that's a big problem.
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WCGreen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-21-09 04:57 PM
Response to Original message
2. With all due respect for these so-called progressive companies...
Fuck it, make it easy for them to organize...
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Fire1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-21-09 07:06 PM
Response to Reply #2
23. Huh????
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Javaman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-23-09 10:48 AM
Response to Reply #2
73. macky head of whole foods is a self proclaimed libertarian.
need I say more?

The guy is a willing tool.
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cal04 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-21-09 05:02 PM
Response to Original message
3. As Starbucks, others seek Employee Free Choice compromise, anti-union lobby stands in the way.
http://thinkprogress.org/2009/03/21/efca-compromise /

The Wall Street Journal reports today that Costco Wholesale Corp., Starbucks Corp. and Whole Foods Market Inc. are seeking to compromise with union groups to support a modified version of the Employee Free Choice Act. The compromise would allow a union to be formed if 70 percent instead of the current bills 50 percent proposal sign a card favoring unionization. However, the anti-union lobby refuses to back the deal:



The AFl-CIO also signaled its wariness of the proposal. We expect to pass it the way it is now," said Stewart Acuff, an assistant to AFL-CIO President John Sweeney.

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=atn...

Mark Mix, president of the National Right to Work Committee, a group opposing the legislation, said some of the measures opponents were exploring the idea of requiring that 70 percent of workers sign cards to unionize, rather than the 50 percent currently proposed in the bill.

(snip)
Phony Compromise
These huge companies are apparently willing to sell out hundreds of thousands of small ones under the guise of making some phony and misguided compromise with Big Labor, Mix said in a statement. We believe we have this draconian bill defeated outright, so these actions may well lead to the bills passage.

Labor unions also expressed opposition to the Starbucks-led effort to find an alternative. What we have consistently heard from the business community is that there is no compromise, said Stewart Acuff, an assistant to AFL-CIO President John Sweeney. We expect to pass it the way it is now.
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jeff30997 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-21-09 09:49 PM
Response to Reply #3
43. National Right to Work Committee
What a stupid name for an organization that don't give a damn about workers rights.It's almost as

pathetic as The "Patriot" Act.

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provis99 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-21-09 09:58 PM
Response to Reply #43
45. should be called the National Forced to Work Committee
or the National Committee in Favor of Wage Slavery. That would be more accurate.
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pattmarty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-21-09 05:04 PM
Response to Original message
4. What offer??????? Fuck 'em!!!!
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brentspeak Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-21-09 05:10 PM
Response to Original message
5. As a pro-union man, I have mixed feelings about this
Because Costco and Whole Foods are among the few non-union corporations which actually go out of their way to provide their employees with a living wage. That said, their involvement with this issue is wrong.
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safeinOhio Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-21-09 05:20 PM
Response to Reply #5
10. If a company offers better wages and benefits
than Union shops, they have nothing to fear. There will be no union.
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LiberalFighter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-21-09 06:02 PM
Response to Reply #10
13. Even if there is a union their operations will be more efficient and
provide employees a means to receive protection from unjust firing.
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Sherman A1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-21-09 06:27 PM
Response to Reply #10
15. Precisely
Well Said!
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cabluedem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-22-09 06:29 AM
Response to Reply #10
55. Thats what Walmart does with thier truck drivers to keep the Teamsters away. They short-change the..
store employees and treat the drivers like they are kings.
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DoctorMyEyes Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-21-09 08:26 PM
Response to Reply #5
31. I agree with you
and as a Costco employee I'm just floored that my Company has involved itself.
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imdjh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-21-09 08:54 PM
Response to Reply #5
32. Another reason why universal healthcare is so important
Edited on Sat Mar-21-09 08:55 PM by imdjh
And why we need to hold the Democratic Party's feet to the fire to get in NOW.

If employer and employee participation are mandatory, with fixed rates to employers and employees as well as the self-employed- then one entire category of negotiation simply disappears as well as a host of other problems.

The only things left would be wages and working conditions. Employees who have guaranteed continuous healthcare will cross the street for surprisingly little money, and employers will have to compete in the only way that really matters- money. My employer can take all that "we love you, you're like family" crap and shove it up his ass if the guy across the street calls me names and pays me more. I'm serious. I take a bunch of crap all day long anyway, so I might as well get paid.
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quiller4 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-22-09 06:50 PM
Response to Reply #5
64. Actually it is wrong to call COSTCO non-union
as their warehouses are organized and their warehouse workers arre covered by Teamster collective bargaining agreements. The stores are not union.
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brentspeak Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-22-09 11:47 PM
Response to Reply #64
71. Thanks for the correction. n/t
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Zhade Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-21-09 05:16 PM
Response to Original message
6. And to think I've been singing Costco's praises for years.
Fuck all three of those businesses.

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dkofos Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-21-09 05:16 PM
Response to Original message
7. There is a forth choice.
Pay the employees a FAIR WAGE, with benefits, with a reasonable
retirement package, and a bonus plan based on profits.

There would be know reason for unions if they do this.
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LiberalFighter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-21-09 06:02 PM
Response to Reply #7
14. It isn't always about wages and benefits all the time. There are other issues
that are just as important.
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Sherman A1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-21-09 06:28 PM
Response to Reply #7
16. In a perfect world the only thing the Union would do is plan the company picnic
but, we don't live in a perfect world and this proposal is beyond absurd.
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wolfie001 Donating Member (17 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-21-09 08:57 PM
Response to Reply #7
33. No "Fourth Way"
When have companies ever paid fair wages, my friend? They pay fair wages when they're forced to negotiate. Check Card Now!!
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amborin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-22-09 09:55 PM
Response to Reply #7
67. please: read your labor history: fair wages, benefits, pension only followed unionization
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MannyGoldstein Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-21-09 05:18 PM
Response to Original message
8. Where Were They When There Was No Chance Of This Passing?
If they actually cared about workers, they'd have done this long ago. I know that Starbucks, in particular, has ruthlessly sought to destroy any whiffs of unions.

This is being done out of desperation.
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Bozita Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-21-09 05:20 PM
Response to Original message
9. Too damned little; too damned late. Card Check NOW!
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pursuit_of_progress Donating Member (7 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-21-09 07:36 PM
Response to Reply #9
28. Card Check needs no changes Pass it now
These big companies can protest all they want, but no alternative is needed The Employer Choice Act has to pass. Obama won and Americans want a progressive agenda.
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Donnachaidh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-21-09 05:40 PM
Response to Original message
11. hey costco, starbucks and whole foods -- how many fingers am I holding up?
:evilgrin:
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edc Donating Member (407 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-21-09 05:51 PM
Response to Original message
12. Hahahah!!!
:rofl: The proposal would keep the third main element of the "card-check" bill -- toughening the penalties for companies that retaliate against workers before union elections or refuse to engage in collective bargaining.
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Renew Deal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-21-09 06:31 PM
Response to Original message
17. Basically they want to do nothing.
And they want to punish the workers easier. Nice
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bjobotts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-21-09 06:38 PM
Response to Original message
18. Promis if we do what we've always done we will slap our hands even harder
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denem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-21-09 06:41 PM
Response to Original message
19. "Third Way"?
Where have I heard that expression before?
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NEOBuckeye Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-21-09 07:04 PM
Response to Reply #19
22. Clintonian Triangulation Returns
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jmowreader Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-21-09 07:00 PM
Response to Original message
20. If you're looking for a "progressive" company you won't find it at Starbucks
According to the IWW, only 42 percent of ALL Starbucks employees, including management, have healthcare benefits. That's atrocious. It's worse than Walmart.
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Manifestor_of_Light Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-21-09 07:03 PM
Response to Original message
21. Go Wobblies!!
:yourock: WOBBLIES!

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Fire1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-21-09 07:18 PM
Response to Original message
24. Damn! Pretty soon there won't be any place for me to shop!!
Never liked Starbucks.
Gave up Whole Foods last year. Prices too high.
Never shopped at Walmart.
Costco's was the only one left. Oh, well.
Fuck 'em all.
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Manifestor_of_Light Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-21-09 07:28 PM
Response to Reply #24
26. Hell, I've driven to Houston to go to Costco.
I live 150 miles from Houston and have kept up my membership there, because they are NOT The Beast of Bentonville. :D

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Fire1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-21-09 07:32 PM
Response to Reply #26
27. They have the freshest fish around these parts. Otherwise, I
have to drive 20 miles to the city's best fish market.
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ogneopasno Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-21-09 07:26 PM
Response to Original message
25. Fuck 'em. Whole Foods and Starbucks are active union-busters.
Wait, by joining together and making a "counter offer" -- are they BARGAINING? COLLECTIVELY? Fuck 'em.
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Joanne98 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-21-09 07:39 PM
Response to Original message
29. HAHAHA!
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JVS Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-22-09 06:39 AM
Response to Reply #29
57. This is a pretty lame attempt by three companies with "liberal" street cred representing the...
business interests. They're as much of a pander as Palin.
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DoctorMyEyes Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-21-09 08:21 PM
Response to Original message
30. I work for Costco
I love Costco. I make a living wage, have good benefits, job security, and am generally treated very well as are my fellow workers.

I was very saddened to see that Costco was involved in the creation of this "Third Way" plan. In fact, before I read the linked article I couldn't believe that Jim Sinegal would be on public record endorsing such a thing. But, there he is - being quoted in the press.

Why he would lend Costco's good name to this Lanny Davis contrived bullshit is beyond me. Unlike Starbucks and Whole Foods many of Costco's employees are already unionized. I am truly disappointed and confused as Jim Sinegal is like a "rock star" to me and I don't know why he'd roll around in this mud.

To those in this thread that are considering not shopping at Costco - I'd like to ask you to please not throw out the baby with the bathwater. Costco is a terrific progressive company overall and you should feel good about spending your money there. I feel good about working there - like I'm on the side of the good guys and I'm not going to let this current WTF moment ruin that for me. Card check is going to pass and there's nothing Starbucks, Whole Foods or my beloved CEO Jim Sinegal can do about it.
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renate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-21-09 09:00 PM
Response to Reply #30
34. I'm so glad you chimed in--your opinion is really valuable
I love Costco and I love hearing how much its employees enjoy working there and how they're treated well. I'm going to be watching this story (because I'm disappointed too) but I'm happy to hear that you still think it's a great place to shop. Thanks so much!
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DoctorMyEyes Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-21-09 09:47 PM
Response to Reply #34
42. And thank you too!
Thank you so much for shopping at Costco! I really do feel good about working there.

I joined Costco after a brief stint in the banking industry. I really had to examine myself and think about my next move when I left banking cause I knew I couldn't do anything like that again. I can't just pack my conscience and humanity away for 8 hours a day and I couldn't rationalize it like many of my co-workers did. I realized that I'd changed employers many times over the years because I was really unhappy with the way my company earned it's money and that banking was a low point in a long succession of being a cog in a wheels that I despised. But, I had to eat...

So, I consciously chose Costco and I feel good about it every day. Some days are a pain in the ass and I guess that's okay because that's why we call it "work" instead of "recreation" - but overall it's a great company with really low turnover. We make a good wage - have decent hours and decent vacation, leave and holiday policies. Our healthcare benefits are generous,we can't be fired or disciplined on a whim and there's a true "open door" policy.

So again, thank you for being a Costco member and I hope you enjoy shopping with us!
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GiveMeFreedom Donating Member (445 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-21-09 09:08 PM
Response to Reply #30
37. I hope you have a clean cotton cloth..
for that crystal ball your peering at. Seems the debate is just beginning in Congress and whether it becomes law is yet to be seen. I personally am a Union Member of Operating Engineers and would welcome EFCA.
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-21-09 09:18 PM
Response to Reply #30
39. "....and it would make it easier for businesses to call elections to try to decertify a union" . . .
That may be why if many of Costco's employees are "already unionized" . . ???

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DoctorMyEyes Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-21-09 09:32 PM
Response to Reply #39
41. That sound like a reason
but Costco has a terrific relationship with the Teamsters. It's not like it's a contentious relationship where you'd think "Oh,okay - I can see where management would get on board with this idea." I'm truly stunned and there's obviously something going on that's over my head.

Unless... I'm now wondering if maybe it isn't Jim's way of "throwing a bone" to the brokers and analysts that are always all over his ass to lower our wages or raise our prices (which he consistently resists). Maybe there's some political advantage to his looking like he gives a shit about this? Like it's a shareholder concern? I really don't know. I'm just grasping at straws because it seems so uncharacteristic.
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-21-09 10:09 PM
Response to Reply #41
48. When capitalism/corporations are regulated . . . they pretty much ensure that they
put in leadership which cooperates with the regulations --

I'm speaking of the past now . . .

but that leadership still knew the score pretty well --

the injustice towards employees -- advantages for the executives/CEO's ---

they never spoke of it directly, but they were not above -- in my experience ---

giving a trusted worker a little insight. They were the guys in the middle ...

though they were the top executives. They weren't entirely fish nor fowl.

Behind all of this -- in times of regulation pretty well buried -- were elites

biding their times. When times changed and they were deregulated, they put in

different people. In the past decades, they pretty much invited Mafia types in

to "negotiate" with unions and with those attempting to bring unions into

companies. And worse.


Consider the Lily Ledbetter case, for just one example of the things that employees

don't know!

Women are still paid less . . . they frequently left companies they had worked for

for long periods of time without securing retirement benefits -- often due to

marriage interrupting their "careers." This puts them at a disadvantage in Social

Security payments later in life -- and in gaining independence for themselves.

Oft times, women were paid at the most 50% of what males earned for the same work ---

of even for a technically higher position.

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renate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-22-09 03:22 AM
Response to Reply #41
53. in this case I wouldn't be surprised if you were right
Normally I'd assume that "CEO" meant "bottom line only"--but maybe, if you've been so pleased with him for so long, maybe it truly is a way of getting the Powers That Be to chillax a little.

Never ever have I heard a Costco employee gripe about their job... and I've asked them many times, as I go through the checkout line, about how long they've worked there and so on--they all, every single time, praise Costco to the skies. (The only possible exception was when I complkimented the electronics guy who was helping me choose a camera on his knowledge--he said he did all the learning on his own time, and that they were expected to do that. But he didn't seem upset about it at all. Maybe when you feel good about your job, putting in a few extra hours to do it really well doesn't feel like as much of an obligation or chore as it might otherwise.) I tell them I love to hear that, and they really seem genuine when they thank me for shopping there and they repeat how much better it is than at other places.

You have an interesting backstory, by the way--I'm really happy for you that things have worked out so well for you and that you feel so good about your decision to work there. That's fantastic. :hug:
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Crowman1979 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-22-09 09:32 AM
Response to Reply #30
60. Luckily the Teamsters have been making progress in Unionizing Costco workers.
I wonder what their opinion is about this so-called "Third Way."
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DoctorMyEyes Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-22-09 02:02 PM
Response to Reply #60
61. Actually, I think Costco inherited the Teamsters from Price Club
I'm not sure how many warehouses that weren't previously unionized have become unionized. I do know that the relationship is very good and I've never heard any manager disparage the union.
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quiller4 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-22-09 06:52 PM
Response to Reply #61
65. The number of bargaining units has doiubled since Price Club. n/t
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RufusTFirefly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-21-09 09:00 PM
Response to Original message
35. When Creationism failed, they offered up Intelligent Design instead
That's what this "third way" seems like to me. Same wine. Different bottle.
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louis c Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-21-09 09:02 PM
Response to Original message
36. Binding Arbitration for first contract in a must
Even if a union wins a recognition vote, without a contract there is no grievance procedure and all employees remain "employees at will". A company that opposes a union but has to recognize it after the vote is not likely to be "union friendly". They can bargain in "bad faith" and get away with it if there is no binding arbitration.

Why are they afraid of a third party, mutually agreed upon, from the American Arbitration Association (AAA)? The arbitrator is chosen from a pool of mutually agreed upon men and woman. If they wanted fairness, why object ot arbitration?
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hay rick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-21-09 09:55 PM
Response to Reply #36
44. Agreed.
No binding arbitration on the fist contract, no deal. The few companies that lose unionization votes these days simply refuse to bargain in good faith. Without binding arbitration, card check is futile.

No need to answer your rhetorical question on fairness.
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-21-09 09:15 PM
Response to Original message
38. I'm sure they're proposing a better plan . . . for THEMSELVES . . .!!!
Card Check should be passed now . . .

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scribble Donating Member (129 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-21-09 09:30 PM
Response to Original message
40. EFCA is krap; this compromise is worse
The Employee Free Choice Act is badly flawed.

This Bill only sets ground rules for employees who are involved with Unions in some way. Back here in real life; about 87% of us across the US are not going to have an opportunity to join a Union.

In fact, I'd say this bill unfairly discriminates against Non Union employees and should be voted down on this basis alone. Employees need an Employees Bill of Rights.

Employees who have a choice to join a Union, ought to be able to pick a good union -- one that doesn't coerce them as members and gives them fair and unbiased representation at all levels of the union organization. Real Union oversight and reform should be a part of this Bill just like real Employer-Employee legal reform should be a part of this Bill. Workers involved with an organizing effort, should have some significant assurance that a GOOD Union is behind the effort.

How are employees going to decide whether to have a public vote (card check) or a secret ballot? Are they going to vote publicly about whether they will vote privately?

This new proposal is the kind of plan I would expect from a bunch of Conservative Democrats who don't like unions but don't want to be caught at it. Their sly plan would allow managers to continue to coerce employees individually over long periods of time, while granting union organizer a formal, last minute public group meeting or two, at which they would PUBLICLY vote whether to have a PRIVATE vote -- under the watchful eyes of every single supervisor and manager they report to.

It's absurd.

=-=-=-=-=

Because EFCA is flawed, it makes room for horrible compromise proposals like this to sneak their way into the action.

This compromise proposes a new, vague rule limiting management coersion. It might make a "humane" employer feel good, but no employee would ever be able to enforce it as a practical matter. It is no real compromise at all; just a restatement of what the law already says. We already know it doesn't work.

This compromise also proposes nonbinding Arbitration.

Let me get this straight: After risking my job, being strong-armed by my supervisor, being forced to vote publicly to hold a public/private election, and then voting and winning the election to organize; my employer STILL isn't obligated to listen to me OR to my new Union?

Why even take a vote in the first place? A non-binding election is an empty election unless both sides are guaranteed quick, fair arbitration.


I'm beginning to think that the Employee Free Choice Act is just bullshit with chocolate syrup on it.

This compromise is just bullshit.

sc
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Omaha Steve Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-22-09 07:40 AM
Response to Reply #40
58. Dear scribble, welcome to the DU

You must have missed the point. With EFCA and penalties for violations in place, you to can form and join a union. This is for those 87%.

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scribble Donating Member (129 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-22-09 06:25 PM
Response to Reply #58
63. Please read more carefully ...
... you missed my point.

Almost no one working today (nonUnion by definition) will have a chance to join a union. There just aren't enough Union organizers to go around. This Bill defines no rights for this general class of employees at all.

To repeat: It does NOTHING AT ALL for 87% of us who earn paychecks.

It is incredible to me, that as employees; we have no rights at all in our workplaces and so few of us have noticed. Apparently including you.


... and you carefully avoided my main points:

1) This Bill doesn't fix the Election-vs-card controversy. It doesn't protect employees' privacy or shield them from employer coersion. The organizing process it defines is absurd ... we vote in public to determine whether we will vote in public or in private. If we get a contract, we have no power within the Union that organized us.

2) ... And the proposed compromise is even worse. It modifies the EFCA to define exactly the same conditions we already have today.

Why don't you respond to my main points, instead of carefully misunderstanding the side point you raised?

Could it be that I'm correct?

sc
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Omaha Steve Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-22-09 09:48 PM
Response to Reply #63
66. Could be I was kind and in a hurry, I work on Sunday

The bill does allow for a ballot if that is what the employees want. That decision would up to the employees. AT&T wireless stayed neutral and accepted card check. It works.

I was fired for union organizing in 1980. Once the company knew I had the votes, I was gone. It took 3 & 1/2 years to win. There are new penalties in the bill. Currently back pay less what an employee makes while fighting the case in court are it.

I don't want the compromise either. Perfect ni. BIG improvement yes. I'll take EFCA as is. It is the first pro worker bill in Congress since Carter.

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Omaha Steve Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-23-09 08:42 PM
Response to Reply #63
74. Where do you get the idea it is a ....

"vote in public to determine whether we will vote in public or in private"

1. You don't vote in public. You just mark the card for a private vote IF you want one. The company or the union don't even need to see your choice. It can be sent direct to the NLRB.

As for a union thug (Rush says Tony Soprano) can't bother you at work. That is left solely up to the employer. When I tried to organize my shop when I was fired in 1980, I didn't visit a single home, drinks after work, etc.. But when the employer stooge told them I had the votes to win, I was fired in less than 48 hours. Last year an administrative law judge decided 120 workers at CNN were fired 5 years ago only because they belonged to a union. So now an appeal to the NLRB. Then US Appeals Court. Will CNN go to the US Supreme Court? 15 more years waiting for the employees under the current time line. And any pay they have made since they were fired will come off the back pay award they should finally win from CNN.

For you to say EFCA is no good, don't pass it is absurd. You need to rethink your best chance to win representation since the 1930's. Or do you really not want the union advantage at work?

2. I agree. I don't want the counter proposal either. I just posted the story. If you really believe this bills passage won't mean 1000's of new organizers, your out of touch with the real world.

http://www.aflcio.org /

* Here's why we need the Employee Free Choice Act.
* Get the facts about the Employee Free Choice Act.
* Donate to the Turn Around America Fund and get out the truth about the Employee Free Choice Act.
* Join our Employee Free Choice Act Facebook group.



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GrantDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-21-09 09:59 PM
Response to Original message
46. Sorry...
This essentially leaves the playing field skewed to the employer. The employer having the right to demand an election is the problem. From the time the NLRB schedules an election to the time it is held is when the employer harasses, threatens, and coerce workers into "changing" their mind. Without the protections of majority sign-up and binding arbitration the costs of increased fines and penalties will become a part of doing business.
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Citizen Worker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-21-09 10:00 PM
Response to Original message
47. Trade Unions and EFCA
As a long time Union member and Shop Steward I think the
critical point of EFCA is overlooked.

Workplaces are notorious for their exercise of tyrannical
power and heirarchical structure.  What Unions do is to alter
power in the workplace and give a small measure of power back
to the workers.  That is, as long as the workers are willing
to exercise their power through the Rank and File members.  

Throughout our history workers have organized when they've
seen a need for shorter hours of work, shorter work weeks,
vacations, pensions, etc.  It was the United Mine Workers of
America who brought the pension issue into focus.  When first
negotiated the UMWA pension plan called for a $0.10
contribution for every ton of coal that was mined.  The UMWA
pension plan led to the creation of corporate sponsored and
contributed pension plans.  Today, as we all know, those
pension plans are under attack and the burden of financing
them, in many cases, has been left to the Pension Benefit
Guaranty Corporation, but they're going broke.  

In my current job I've been told by a high ranking member of
management, "if you didn't have a Union I'd fire you
right now."  No ambiguity in that statement.  I make it
a point, and consider it my duty, to be a thorn in their
side, and to hold management to the contract.

Organizing a Union is not limited to wages and benefits but
is more about changing the balance of power in the workplace,
giving workers a voice in their own destiny.

The only protection workers have, other than the laws in
their individual states, is their Union.  
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Zhade Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-22-09 10:03 PM
Response to Reply #47
69. HEAR HEAR! Welcome to DU!
NT!

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David__77 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-21-09 10:11 PM
Response to Original message
49. Um, no.
Not nearly enough.
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W_HAMILTON Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-21-09 10:19 PM
Response to Original message
50. Wow.
If these "friendly" businesses want to do this to hamper the creation of unions, imagine what the really corrupt businesses think of it?
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pinto Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-21-09 10:40 PM
Response to Original message
51. It's always good to go to the source - the bill, as presented in the House.
Edited on Sat Mar-21-09 10:44 PM by pinto
http://thomas.loc.gov / (this is the home page, insert the bill number, below, in the search box there for more ~ pinto)

HR 1409 IH

111th CONGRESS

1st Session

H. R. 1409

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.


IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

March 10, 2009
Mr. GEORGE MILLER of California

(for himself, Mr. SCOTT of Georgia, Mr. BRADY of Pennsylvania, Mr. DOYLE, Mr. KILDEE, Mrs. CAPPS, Mr. WALZ, Ms. LEE of California, Ms. SCHAKOWSKY, Mrs. NAPOLITANO, Ms. LINDA T. SANCHEZ of California, Ms. DELAURO, Mr. KENNEDY, Mr. DOGGETT, Mr. FILNER, Mr. PATRICK J. MURPHY of Pennsylvania, Mr. GRIJALVA, Ms. MCCOLLUM, Ms. WOOLSEY, Mr. LYNCH, Mr. GUTIERREZ, Mr. YARMUTH, Ms. SUTTON, Mr. MARKEY of Massachusetts, Mr. HARE, Mr. LEVIN, Mr. SARBANES, Mr. BRALEY of Iowa, Ms. HIRONO, Mr. TIERNEY, Mr. MCGOVERN, Ms. EDWARDS of Maryland, Mr. ABERCROMBIE, Mr. JOHNSON of Georgia, Mr. HOLT, Mrs. MALONEY, Mr. NADLER of New York, Mr. CAPUANO, Mr. HIGGINS, Mr. BLUMENAUER, Mr. SMITH of Washington, Mr. ELLISON, Mr. MCDERMOTT, Ms. RICHARDSON, Mr. MCNERNEY, Mr. SCHIFF, Mrs. LOWEY, Mr. OLVER, Ms. ZOE LOFGREN of California, Mr. ACKERMAN, Mr. ENGEL, Mr. LEWIS of Georgia, Mr. WILSON of Ohio, Mr. KUCINICH, Mr. WELCH, Mr. AL GREEN of Texas, Mr. HINOJOSA, Mrs. MCCARTHY of New York, Mr. PAYNE, Mr. DAVIS of Illinois, Ms. CLARKE, Mr. ISRAEL, Mr. CUMMINGS, Mr. COSTELLO, Mr. LANGEVIN, Mr. FARR, Ms. PINGREE of Maine, Ms. CORRINE BROWN of Florida, Mr. BERMAN, Mr. PETERS, Mr. ANDREWS, Ms. SHEA-PORTER, Mr. CARNAHAN, Mr. WU, Mrs. DAVIS of California, Mr. SCOTT of Virginia, Ms. CASTOR of Florida, Mr. SERRANO, Mrs. HALVORSON, Mr. MURPHY of Connecticut, Mr. SHERMAN, Mr. MOORE of Kansas, Mr. CONYERS, Mr. WEINER, Ms. TSONGAS, Mr. BISHOP of New York, Mr. KIND, Mr. PETERSON, Mr. LIPINSKI, Mr. MAFFEI, Mr. DEFAZIO, Mr. WEXLER, Ms. ESHOO, Mr. DINGELL, Mr. MCMAHON, Mr. SCHRADER, Mr. STUPAK, Mr. GENE GREEN of Texas, Mr. LOEBSACK, Mr. CARDOZA, Mr. HALL of New York, Ms. SLAUGHTER, Mr. RAHALL, Mr. FRANK of Massachusetts, Ms. MATSUI, Mr. RUPPERSBERGER, Mr. CLEAVER, Mr. HINCHEY, Mr. ROTHMAN of New Jersey, Mr. GRAYSON, Ms. BALDWIN, Mr. JACKSON of Illinois, Ms. BEAN, Mr. NEAL of Massachusetts, Mrs. TAUSCHER, Mr. WAXMAN, Ms. KILPATRICK of Michigan, Mr. HASTINGS of Florida, Ms. KAPTUR, Ms. EDDIE BERNICE JOHNSON of Texas, Mr. CARSON of Indiana, Mr. ADLER of New Jersey, Mr. MEEK of Florida, Ms. KILROY, Mr. RYAN of Ohio, Mr. MASSA, Mr. FOSTER, Mr. TOWNS, Mr. ORTIZ, Ms. ROYBAL-ALLARD, Ms. VELAZQUEZ, Mr. RUSH, Mr. HODES, Mr. CLYBURN, Mr. BOSWELL, Mr. MOLLOHAN, Mr. MICHAUD, Mr. KISSELL, Mr. PASCRELL, Mr. MELANCON, Mr. BECERRA, Mr. DELAHUNT, Ms. WASSERMAN SCHULTZ, Mr. INSLEE, Mr. PALLONE, Mr. BOCCIERI, Mr. MCHUGH, Mr. DRIEHAUS, Mr. HONDA, Mr. CLAY, Mr. OBERSTAR, Mr. TONKO, Ms. WATERS, Mr. SCHAUER, Mr. VISCLOSKY, Mr. MILLER of North Carolina, Mr. RANGEL, Mr. SPACE, Mr. LUJAN, Mr. CROWLEY, Ms. MOORE of Wisconsin, Mr. STARK, Ms. JACKSON-LEE of Texas, Ms. SCHWARTZ, Mr. BACA, Mr. PASTOR of Arizona, Mr. FATTAH, Mr. HOYER, Mr. LARSON of Connecticut, Ms. WATSON, Ms. LORETTA SANCHEZ of California, Mr. PRICE of North Carolina, Mr. SIRES, Mr. SMITH of New Jersey, Mr. LARSEN of Washington, Ms. FUDGE, Mr. MEEKS of New York, Ms. NORTON, Mr. THOMPSON of Mississippi, Mr. BAIRD, Ms. KOSMAS, Mr. DICKS, Mr. BISHOP of Georgia, Mr. HEINRICH, Mr. COURTNEY, Mr. TEAGUE, Mr. MURTHA, Ms. HARMAN, Mr. VAN HOLLEN, Mr. LOBIONDO, Mr. REYES, Mr. HIMES, Mr. OBEY, Mr. BOUCHER, Mr. KANJORSKI, Mr. HOLDEN, Mr. SALAZAR, Mr. ARCURI, Mrs. DAHLKEMPER, Mr. SKELTON, Mr. ALTMIRE, Mr. CONNOLLY of Virginia, Mr. GONZALEZ, Mr. RODRIGUEZ, Mr. MORAN of Virginia, Mr. KAGEN, Ms. MARKEY of Colorado, Ms. DEGETTE, Mr. PIERLUISI, Ms. HERSETH SANDLIN, Ms. SPEIER, Mr. THOMPSON of California, Mr. DONNELLY of Indiana, Mr. WATT, Mr. SABLAN, Mr. SESTAK, Ms. BERKLEY, Mr. DAVIS of Alabama, Mr. FALEOMAVAEGA, Mr. POLIS of Colorado, Mr. PERLMUTTER, Mr. COSTA, and Ms. TITUS)

introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Education and Labor:

A BILL

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.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

This Act may be cited as the `Employee Free Choice Act of 2009'.

http://thomas.loc.gov/
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Earth Bound Misfit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-22-09 02:36 AM
Response to Original message
52. And only workers get screwed, so who cares, right?
This "compromise" keeps the playing field tilted toward management, without binding arbitration on contracts, and without the option for majority sign-up.

AFL-CIO Government Affairs Director Bill Samuel reflects labor's concern:

The Employee Free Choice Act is about protecting the fundamental freedom of workers to bargain with their employers for a better life and to join a union without corporate interference and harassment.

The proposal being circulated by these companies falls short of meeting these standards.

We are open to discussing the legislation with parties who are legitimately concerned with protecting workers. However, a proposal coming from corporations, some of whom have their own history of violating workers' rights, is simply not an alternative that lives up to giving workers back the freedom to form unions.

Of particular concern is the removal of majority sign up which exists under current law - and the removal of the arbitration provisions. Removing the arbitration provisions will allow companies to continue to stall and delay and refuse to negotiate a contract in good faith.


These companies, particularly Starbucks and Whole Foods, are no friends of labor. The NLRB cited Starbucks for illegally firing three union organizer baristas in New York City and prohibiting employees to discuss union issues at work. Whole Foods' CEO compared unions to herpes: "It doesn't kill you, but it's unpleasant and inconvenient and it stops a lot of people from becoming your lover." These are not good-faith negotiating partners.

And the bigger negative is that this now becomes the "sensible centrist" alternative that the bipartisan fetishists can push forward and consider themselves beloved by all rational people. Just look who brokered this deal:

The effort is being led in Washington by Lanny Davis, a former special counsel to President Clinton. Davis said he has approached about 20 Senate offices and gotten an overwhelmingly encouraging response. The Employee Free Choice Act has majority support in both chambers, but there are signs it may have trouble getting a filibuster-proof 60 votes in the Senate, where several centrist Democrats who previously supporting it are expressing reservations.

Sen. Mark Pryor (D-Ark.), a centrist ambivalent about card-check, praised the companies' proposal. "I appreciate good faith effort that could result in a reasonable compromise on what has become a highly polarizing matter," he said.


You can just see where this will go, ending in a toothless bill that will fail to solve ANY of the present problems facing workers. And only workers get screwed, so who cares, right?

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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-22-09 05:27 AM
Response to Original message
54. they're "progressive" companies, what could be wrong?
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JVS Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-22-09 06:36 AM
Response to Original message
56. Card check is fine.
Edited on Sun Mar-22-09 06:37 AM by JVS
These companies are basically saying "why not put some sharper teeth on the current regulations?" Many violations remain unreported, so it doesn't really hurt them
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-22-09 08:06 AM
Response to Original message
59. Time to email or call your Rep and Sens to tell them you don't want any amendments to EFCA. I
called them to support EFCA, but I am going to call again to make it clear that I want NO amendments.
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w4rma Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-22-09 04:33 PM
Response to Original message
62. That "deal" is a bad one. (nt)
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amborin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-22-09 09:57 PM
Response to Original message
68. CARD CHECK NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!
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TXDemGal Donating Member (600 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-22-09 11:16 PM
Response to Original message
70. No sale!
Workers must have the unimpeded right to organize. Period.
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Born Free Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-23-09 05:34 AM
Response to Original message
72. bill better than nothing
We have the $100 membership at COSTCO but lose money every year as we really don't find enough products we like to buy. Many times, our local store drops the brands we like best. However, every year, it comes down to question of supporting companies that take care of their employees and we renew our membership.

I have always found union shops to be better than non-union shops but I also admit that many times the local union people abuse their so called rights, some of the worst deadbeats are union stewards and they will sell you out quickly if it means they are personally rewarded. I am a dues paying member as I work for an "open" shop, one of those shops where everyone is covered by the union but you choose to pay dues.

I have mixed feelings about the bill, I think it's better than the current situation but also believe it could be better - I know some unions can go bad as well and we need to protect workers from both management abuses as well as union abuses. Not too long ago the local union leaders where my wife worked agreed to some type of cuts, the national had to get involved to stop the local - in the end they learned the individual responsible was offered a management position. Where I work, many times the union stewards will move into management - it's almost as though they cause a lot of uneeded trouble just because they can and then accepted into management to keep them quiet. The last I heard, our local is bankrupt because a previous president, upon leaving submitted an excessive amount of "overtime" claims for work he performed during his presidency, sued and won forcing the local to file bankruptcy because they could not afford to pay his final bill.

We need unions but we also need protection to keep the the local union officials from becoming worse then the employers. Ahh, yes, you say no problem , just have an election of new officers - that sounds better in theory than reality.
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bitchkitty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-23-09 10:56 PM
Response to Original message
75. This is bullshit.
They are still trying to kneecap the unions, they're just putting a "progressive" mask on it. Screw Starbucks, screw Winco and screw Whole Foods.
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sfnative Donating Member (36 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-24-09 04:49 PM
Response to Original message
76. Canceling my Costco membership
Toughening penalties for union violations and and making it easier to dissolve the union in the workplace! The current laws already have far more regulations for unions versus employers when it comes to unfair labor practices. If this new alternative plan is accepted, unions are going to have to fight two battles. The battle to organize and the battle to keep unions in the workplace.

Don't take this new plan lightly! Boycott Whole Foods, Starbucks, and Costco! If workplaces are providing great benefits and pay, what do they have to be afraid of? Let the workers decide if they need a union or not.





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