Via Jennifer Rubin : "Card check"--allowing unions to avoid secret ballots--is now semi-officially out of the "card check" compromise bill. But the other sweeping structural change in the economy--allowing government "arbitrators" to set wages in the first union contract-is still in . The goal for unions is now to hide this "mandatory arbitration" provision and pretend that the fight was almost all about the defunct anti-secret ballot provision. The NYT 's Steven Greenhouse, as usual , gives the unions what they want .
Opponents may need to come up with a new name for the bill (though "card check" is working pretty well for them). How about "federal pay determination"? Keep in mind that not only does the apparent "compromise" propose abandoning the hoary idea that wages should be set in the marketplace, it also abandons the New Deal's substitute idea that wages should be set in labor contest where unions threaten to use their strike power and management threatens to survive a strike. Unions seem to have given up strikes. Instead they want to authorize an official--maybe even an actual federal bureaucrat--to simply swoop down and impose what would undoubtedly be a wage increase . That's more akin to FDR's notorious, failed National Recovery Act--except the NRA at least let industries set their own rigid wage scales. ...
Note also that the arbitration provisions give now-unorganized workers a new, powerful incentive to unionize: Vote for the union, wait a few months, and an arbitrator will fly in and give you a raise. No strike. No fuss. No muss . ...
P.S.: Opponents also need to go on offense . ... 5:53 P.M.
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