The principles that rule this blog

Principles that will govern my thoughts as I express them here (from my opening statement):

  • Freedom of the individual should be as total as possible, limited only by the fact that nobody should be free to cause physical injury to another, or to deprive another person of his freedoms.
  • Government is necessary primarily to provide those services that private enterprise won't, or won't at a price that people can afford.
  • No person has a right to have his own beliefs on religious, moral, political, or other controversial issues imposed on others who do not share those beliefs.

I believe that Abraham Lincoln expressed it very well:

“The legitimate object of government is to do for a community of people whatever they need to have done, but cannot do, at all, or cannot
so well do, for themselves — in their separate, individual capacities.”

Comments will be invited, and I will attempt to reply to any comments that are offered in a serious and non-abusive manner. However, I will not tolerate abusive or profane language (my reasoning is that this is my blog, and so I can control it; I wouldn't interfere with your using such language on your own!)

If anyone finds an opinion that I express to be contrary to my principles, they are welcome to point this out. I hope that I can make a rational case for my comments. Because, in fact, one label I'll happily accept is rationalist.

Friday, October 21, 2011

A good idea, which is unfortunately not likely to come about right away

Although the bill was introduced back in August, it was only yesterday (as a result of an editorial in the Washington Examiner) that I found out that Senator Orrin Hatch and Representative Tim Scott introduced a bill, under the name of the Employee Rights Act, to make fairer the process of determining whether workers are represented by unions or not.

If enacted, the bill would:

• Mandate a secret-ballot vote in every union representation election, regardless of whether an employer opts to voluntarily recognize the union.

• Require union representation to be recertified via a secret ballot election every three years following initial certification.

• Allow employees to collect any lost wages or unlawfully collected union dues resulting from a union’s interference with their rights under the National Labor Relations Act, including the right to petition for union decertification.

• Impose a procedural penalty on unions that unlawfully interfere with an employee’s filing of a decertification petition.

• Prevent the National Labor Relations Board from implementing its proposed “quickie elections” rule change in order to ensure that employees are able to have full and complete information before deciding whether to join a union.

• Conform and make equal the definition of an unfair labor practice on the part of union with that of an employer under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA).

• Prevent a union from ordering a strike unless they first obtain the consent of a majority of the workforce via a secret ballot election.

• Allow all applicable employees — union members and non-members alike — to have the same rights as union members to vote to ratify a collective bargaining agreement or to engage in a work stoppage.

• Prevent an employee’s union dues or fees from being used for purposes unrelated to the union’s collective bargaining functions — including political contributions and expenditures — without that employee’s written consent.

• Strengthen prohibitions against extortion and the use of force or violence or threat thereof for achieving objectives relating to union representation, compensation, or conditions of employment.

Right now, the playing field is tilted in favor of organized labor — if the employees vote once to certify a union, it remains certified for all time; the workers have no chance to reconsider this decision, ever! This bill would create a more level playing field.

Unfortunately, it has little chance of passing the Senate — because the Democrats control that body and most Democrats are the stooges of organized labor — and would certainly be vetoed by President Obama even if it passed, again because the Democratic Party is totally beholden to organized labor and Obama has never shown any desire to offend those union bosses. Right now, all we can hope for is a debate that will bring out the issues, but perhaps after the 2012 election, the political balance will have changed so as to make passage more likely. As should be clear, this blog is 100% behind the Hatch-Scott bill. Too bad there is no hope of passing it right now, but let us work to get a bill like this in the future.

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