We choose the “still in flux but spinning” option. From Sam Stein, who’s hooked in to the labor chatter, at the left-liberal Huffington Post:
The compromise legislation, as described to the Huffington Post, will contain several major labor priorities including requiring shorter time periods for a union election and containing some form of binding arbitration to prevent employers from dragging out a contract negotiation process. The measures, according to AFL-CIO spokesman Eddie Vale, will let workers choose to join a union without intimidation, ensure that those who join a union get a first contract, and institute meaningful penalties for violations of labor law.
“No matter what, this is still HUGE labor law reform,” emailed one union official.
“There is no official or final deal, negotiations are still ongoing,” said another union hand. “We’re going to pass a bill that is the biggest reform of labor law since the Wagner Act.”
Isn’t it funny how the prospects for the Employee Free Choice Act started getting all this attention just as health care and Waxman-Markey faltered because of their monstrous costs, monstrous government expansions and monstrous monstrousness? It’s as if Congressional leadership and the White House — the President met with union leaders Monday — decided that, “Well, we better give at least one important constituency something that will quiet their grumble sniping.”
But talk about monstrous. Two words: Binding arbitration. Having a government-appointed arbitrator impose non-negotiated terms on employers and employees for two years is simply an invitation to economic ruin. Companies that got a bad deal would fold. The dynamic marketplace would freeze into failure.
More from Daniel Griswold at Cato, “‘Employee Free Choice Act’ Still Bad News”:
What remains of the bill is still bad news. It would reduce the typical union-organizing election from two months to as short as five days. This is a provision that could only be favored by the side that wants workers to be deprived of the information and the time they need to make an informed decision. And it would force employers to accept the decision of a government arbitration panel even if the resulting union contract would threaten the company’s survival.
Finally, we just love that union hand invoking the Wagner Act as a wonderful achievement to replicate. Following passage of the Wagner Act in 1935, America experienced the Depression of 1937 and unemployment jumped back up to 19 percent. That’s a model we should emulate?