Peter Kirsanow at NRO’s The Corner details the “other” provisions of the so-called Employee Free Choice Act and poses some great questions.
As nervous as employers are about card check, it’s EFCA’s first contract mandatory arbitration provisions that have businesses ordering antacids by the truckload. Under EFCA, if the company and union fail to reach agreement on a contract within 120 days after the union requests bargaining, the matter will be referred to an arbitration panel that will actually write the contract. That contract is binding for two years. I’ve negotiated more collective bargaining agreements than I can remember, but I can’t remember too many times when an agreement was reached on an initial contract in four months. It sometimes takes that long just to agree upon the shape of the table.
What if an arbitrator mandates a wage scale that makes the employer uncompetitive? What if the arbitrator puts the company into a pension plan that renders the company unmarketable? Can the arbitrator require interest arbitration in exchange for a no-strike clause? The questions are interminable.