Card Check: Specterography

By May 16, 2009Labor Unions

From the Wall Street Journal, “Specter Suggests Changes to Union Bill.”

Sen. Arlen Specter is floating two compromise proposals on a contentious union-organizing bill to gauge the business community’s willingness to accept the changes and find a middle ground on the bill, according to people familiar with the discussions.

Compromise. Right. From the Latin com — with — and promiterre — who are you kidding.

The radical restructuring of U.S. labor law that Sen. Specter (D-PA) is considering includes mail-in ballots in union organizing elections, ostensibly to preserve an employee’s choice, and some modified version of binding arbitration to include an element of “last best offer” negotiating. So employers and employees would have to live under government-imposed contract terms, reached by a more complicated process than proposed under the current version of the Employee Free Choice Act.

While some politicians and organized labor involved will no doubt continue to use the anodyne “compromise” in describing changes to their proposed Employee Free Choice Act, the media really ought to drop the term. When like-minded parties eager to achieve a politically palatable, sellable piece of legislation make changes, it’s not a compromise. It’s packaging.

Some helpful reading, including commentary on President Obama’s EFCA remarks in New Mexico.

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