I live in the 49th ward of Chicago, and Alderman Joe Moore sends out update e-mails on city council activities(delayed updates). No surprise on the City of Chicago's thoughts on the Employee Free Choice Act. In fact, they took the time to vote on a non-binding resolution. The following is and excerpt from the March 13th newsletter:
...two resolutions of note passed on February 11th. One supported the proposed Employee Free Choice Act, which would allow the certification of a union when a majority of employees voluntarily sign authorization cards. I strongly support this legislation and spoke out at the Council meeting, emphasizing that our middle class was the strongest when unions were the strongest, and therefore how we all will be the beneficiaries of the proposed law.
I know, of course, that it will be difficult to pass in Congress.
However, here in Chicago, the City Council approved the resolution unanimously.
Normally, I glance over the information and go about my day. In some cases I utter disdain over then next plan to fleece me out of money I earn for services I don't need. I made every attempt to do so in this case, but after stewing about this for a week I forwarded a couple questions and observations to Alderman Moore:
As a realist I understand that from time to time there will be issue which a consensus cannot be reached, I try to be as understanding as I can for opinions are plentiful but all routes cannot be traveled. Still I have a concern about your dialogue below concerning, Card Check, otherwise known as the Employee Free Choice Act.
I wonder why your approval of the Employee Free Choice Act does not mention the loss of the secret ballot? The anonymity of such helps ensure no one person can be subject to intimidation from either the employer or the union. It is possible you have commented on this subject and I missed it? If so, I apologize for reiterating the question.
In my opinion and my personal experience a union can be just as menacing as the employer can be to the individual worker. It seems much of the local feelings on this subject assume the employer is always the intimidator; I find that odd and factually inaccurate.
Let me be clear, I am not passing summary judgment on all unions just as I am not an advocate for all employers. That being said I cannot see a sound reason to abolish the secret ballot.
If you have a compelling argument for its removal and can help me understand how it gives the individual worker more freedom please sir, help me understand.
Also, I'm a bit put off by the statement, "our middle class was the strongest when unions were the strongest, and therefore how we all will be the beneficiaries of the proposed law. " , the statement is misleading because it omits the trend that occurs post-unionization.
The trend I'm speaking of is while the average wage of the worker increases (wages and benefits) the jobs in total decrease and unemployment rises. Looking deeper at the numbers, over a period of time the slight increase in wages does not come close to outpacing job loss even if you don't take into account wages lost from union dues. In the end it places more pressure on the shrinking tax base to fill the gap of lost tax revenues particularly locally.
The statement taken at face also fails to take into account there was little to non-existent competition from right to work states in unions hey days.
Now, with stronger federal workplace regulations coupled with rising minimum wage requirements, unions are pricing themselves into oblivion - which is evident by the falling numbers in union representation nationally for the past 30-40 years.
Which leads me to my next question, if unionization nationally is falling why has the standard of living for the middle class increased steadily since the 80's? It seems to fly in the face of the statement I read below.
Working for a capital machinery company, unionization helps personally because most new machines require less labor to operate. Simply put, unionization motivates employers to buy new equipment. I know this for a fact; I've been on the buying end and now the supply end. It's good for business.
Unfortunately, it's bad for IL, and bad for Chicago.
I understand that unions provide ample support for legislators that promote them, but manufacturing jobs are not fleeing IL because we don't have enough union representation.
If you have the time, I'd also like to hear your thoughts on the federal arbitration aspect of the Employee Free Choice Act. I'm concerned that a gov't whom cannot deliver mail, nor can balance a budget will propose a successful two way agreement between employees and their employer for markets they currently do not maintain.
Thank you for your time and service,
I admit to being a passive conservative. I normally keep my opinions to myself, particularly since I find myself outnumbered in most discussions. There are those I can have discussions with but most of the time any attempt at dissent is met with the predictable vitriol for anything other and Chicago Democratic groupthink. By no means do I consider this note to my alderman as some monumental task. I started to read the articles and blogs on American Thinker last year and feel that it has provided me greater motivation to question the status quo in a more active manner, something I previously would not have done. For that I thank the contributors to American Thinker for helping me start to take a more active role outwardly portraying my conservative point of view.