Major Change in Unionization Rules —Fiorenza
Under the current law, the content of the parties’ collective bargaining agreement is left entirely to the bargaining process. There is no obligation on the part of the employer to accept union proposals, nor is there a requirement on the part of the union to accept employer proposals. All the law requires is that the parties bargain in “good faith.” The EFCA would result in arbitrated labor contracts that will most likely be much more favorable to unions.
3) Employers may be fined up to $20,000 per violation for willfully or repeatedly violating employees’ rights in either a union organizing campaign or in some way related to the bargaining of the first contract.
4) If it is found that an employer unlawfully discriminated against an employee in relation to the union organizing campaign or the negotiations over the first contract, the employee would be entitled to damages in the amount of triple his/her backpay.
5) The bill would permit the NLRB to enjoin an employer under circumstances where there is “a reason to believe” that the employer has discharged, threatened to discharge, or engaged in conduct that significantly interfered with employee rights during an organizing campaign or first contract negotiations.
The most cursory review of the changes proposed by the EFCA reveal that its architects had an extremely one-sided perspective on unionization in today’s workplace. Groups supporting the legislation suggest that the reason union membership is down in our society is simply because employers are somehow improperly squelching union organizing efforts. For example, the “Change to Win” Website recently claimed, “…a majority of workers can sign up for a union, but the company can veto that decision and demand an election. This allows the company to fire or harass workers, and threaten that it will close the workplace, in order to coerce workers into voting against a union.”