Starbucks Presents Skim-Milk "Card Check"

A mostly political weblog.
March 23 2009 1:56 PM

Starbucks Presents Skim-Milk "Card Check"

Monday, March 25, 2009

The Starbucks Plan: Jennifer Rubin argues that because  the "progressive" business compromise on "card check" proposed by three yuppie-oriented businesses (Starbucks, Whole Foods, Costco)  jettisons the two most controversial parts of the labor-backed proposal --the parts circumventing the secret ballot and compulsory arbitration--it shouldn't be considered a pro-labor development:

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Even odder is the reaction of some anti-card check lobbying forces which seemed intent on ignoring what the companies are actually proposing. You’d think they’d be throwing a party when Lanny Davis is reduced to hawking a grab bag of half-measures, because not even big Democratic donor CEO’s can bring themselves to support card check. ... [snip]

Most people who can count votes in Congress have figured out that EFCA [card check] is going nowhere — at least for the foreseeable future. So the scramble begins for pro-Big Labor operatives and their allies to find ways of retreating and declaring victory in the face of defeat. But make no mistake:  the central planks of EFCA — doing away with the secret ballot and mandatory arbitration – are withering on the legislative vine, no matter what the spinners say.

But the danger for union skeptics-- including but not limited to business!--is that the Starbucks plan will become the starting point for a compromise that then moves in labor's direction, which explains the ferocity of the Chamber of Commerce's dismissal. And some business lobbyists are terrified of a seemingly mild compromise that, while it keeps secret-ballot elections, requires that they be held so quickly that management never gets to make its case. .... 12:02 P.M.

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9% or 53%? Mark Blumenthal heroically reconciles two wildly divergent poll numbers on how many non-union workers would like to unionize. It's highly revealing about how much play there is in polling numbers--and neither poll appears to have been blatantly rigged. ... P.S: But Blumenthal says:

One could also argue that the context of the Hart questions inadvertently framed unions as means to reduce economic insecurity.

"Inadvertently"? In a Hart poll paid for by the AFL-CIO? Blumenthal is being collegial, though he's convincing that any "framing" bias wasn't a huge factor. ... P.P.S.: The defense of Hart's pollster is

But consider also that we've asked the question SEVEN times over a ten year period, and every time the yes vote was over 40%. The prior questions were different every time (but never included any pro-union message questions or anything like that).

Since Hart's poll (unlike Rasmussen's) narrowly focused on the non-managerial workers most likely to face a unionization vote, that 40% figure is less impressive than it might seem. If it applied consistently across the board in unionization elections, it means unions would lose every vote 60-40. ... And Hart included, in that consistent 40%, those who said they would only "probably" vote for a union. ...(Hart also included those who "probably" would vote agains t. But in a campaign, how likely is it that unions would win over those who are "probably" against, as opposed to losing some of those who are "probably" for? The tendency is for the pro-union vote to get lower as an election nears, no? That's why management likes delaying the vote.) .... 11:35 A.M.

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