An excellent example of the intellectual bankruptcy of the pro-Employee Free Choice Act camp is this Marketplace commentary from Robert Reich, former Secretary of Labor, “Time to enact Employee Free Choice Act.”
The sum of Reich’s argument: It’s good to be in the middle class, unions help put people in the middle class, and business treats unions badly.
No mention of the “card check” provisions undermining an employee’s ability to chose freely whether to join a union or not. No mention of binding arbitration, in which a government official would set an employee’s wages and benefits for two years, with no recourse for the employer or employee.
The ONLY mention Reich makes of the actual provisions of the legislation: “The most important feature of the Employee Free Choice Act toughens penalties against companies that violate their workers’ rights.”
And for that reason, “The sooner it’s enacted, the better — for American workers and for the American economy.”
Conscious evasion and boilerplate anti-business rhetoric from someone who supposedly provides an intellectual foundation for organized labor. Embarrassing.
UPDATE (11:45 a.m.): Acknowledging that a Wall Street Journal op-ed allows more detailed arguments than does a brief radio commentary, it’s still worth comparing the intellectual quality of Reich’s commentary with this piece by former Department of Labor solicitor Eugene Scalia, “Secret Ballots Are Free Choice“:
Unions and their supporters in Congress claim that when employees vote on whether to unionize, the elections are tainted by employer intimidation. They’re wrong. And worse than their diagnosis is their cure: Since elections are being abused, they argue, let’s eliminate them. That’s the goal of the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA), which was introduced in the House and Senate on Tuesday.
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