President Obama has announced his intention to nominate George Cohen for a role that not too many folks outside of Washington have ever heard of: the Director of Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service. So what’s the big deal? Why is this post important?
Well, if the misleadingly named Employee Free Choice Act becomes the law of the land, the Mr. Cohen will be the one that oversees the agency charged with forcing government contracts on newly unionized private employers.
You may think that’s outrageous, but I refer you to read the details of the legislation:
`(2) If after the expiration of the 90-day period beginning on the date on which bargaining is commenced, or such additional period as the parties may agree upon, the parties have failed to reach an agreement, either party may notify the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service of the existence of a dispute and request mediation. Whenever such a request is received, it shall be the duty of the Service promptly to put itself in communication with the parties and to use its best efforts, by mediation and conciliation, to bring them to agreement.
`(3) If after the expiration of the 30-day period beginning on the date on which the request for mediation is made under paragraph (2), or such additional period as the parties may agree upon, the Service is not able to bring the parties to agreement by conciliation, the Service shall refer the dispute to an arbitration board established in accordance with such regulations as may be prescribed by the Service. The arbitration panel shall render a decision settling the dispute and such decision shall be binding upon the parties for a period of 2 years, unless amended during such period by written consent of the parties.’.
Yikes. George Cohen, a person you may have never heard of before today may become the person that oversees the system that determines how you can you manage your own workforce.