The truth about the PRO Act (pro-union dream bill) the House just passed

Feb 2011
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House approves pro-union labor bill

(what follows is from me, not the link)

This bill is called The Protecting the Right to Organize Act. It does a few things that I feel might be ripe for some sort of reform. It has provisions relating to franchising as well as independent contracting that are in some cases legitimately sketchy business practices and are maybe downright abusive and evasive of labor laws. I don't necessarily take issues with those provisions, at least cracking them open for better regulation.

But the problem is they come bundled with four huge provisions that help unions (as an institution), not individual workers as a whole, by subjecting people who might not want to be associated with them to all manners of harassment, intimidation and coercion. These are the provisions:

1) Eliminates National Labor Relations Board-supervised secret ballot elections to unionize. Workers contemplating unionizing won't get to vote (via secret ballot) whether they want union representation or not. If a union organizer or even another militantly pro-union bargaining unit employee can convince them to sign a card, what would have been their secret ballot election vote has been cast. They can persuade, mislead, misrepresent, subtly intimidate, subtly coerce, and twist workers' arms into signing these cards. The NLRB has explicitly allowed this to happen because other pro-union employees are not considered "agents of the union."

If 100% of workers everywhere wanted nothing more than to unionize, this wouldn't be a big deal. But because unionizing is supposed to be based on a democratic process whereby the majority vote determines whether a union should be formed, these card-check processes are unconscionable. Democratic principles require fair democratic election procedures. This provision doesn't "protect rights to organize." It infringes on the rights of workers who might not want to. The only way to maintain any semblance of fairness with regard to employees' rights to unionize or not unionize via card-check processes is by:

a) requiring NLRB-supervised recertification elections every, say, 2-5 years, or
b) eliminating exclusive representation, thereby effectively making it as easy for workers to opt back out of the union as it was for them to opt in via card-check​

Otherwise, NLRB-supervised secret ballot elections should be maintained.

2) The PRO Act forces employers to hand over employees' personal information to unions. This goes hand-in-hand with #1 above. Employees' home address, personal email address, and mobile and home phone numbers must be given to unions. Why? Why else? So that they can dispatch organizers and pro-union co-workers on them to convince them to card-check unionize (see #1 above), or if it's public sector employment, to harass them into opting in to union membership and agree to pay dues even when their right not to is Constitutionally protected.

3) Abolishes states' private sector Right To Work laws. Most states that are Right To Work (private sector) have been so for decades. Right To Work simply says employers cannot agree to be unions' financial enforcers by agreeing to fire people the union tells them to fire based on non-payment of dues. I would maybe be resigned to be okay with this provision if there were regular recertification elections. But unions have always opposed letting their bargaining union employees hold a recertification election. Most union workers have never had the opportunity to actually vote in favor of or against their union representing them.

4) It subjects neutral third parties, who have never signed any agreement with a union, to strikes and secondary boycotts. These tactics that were prohibited over 70 years ago by the Taft Hartley Act, for good reason. This provision is a philosophy of unmitigated economic civil warfare, sabotage, and unrest. It's not only demented, it will come back to severely harm unions themselves. Why? Because if you're a business owner and you cannot or do not want to tolerate the risk of being subject to secondary boycotts, you will quietly find ways to avoid doing business with other companies that are involved with unions. The business community will put counter-pressure on other businesses to avoid unions, especially the militant ones that are known for exercising their new rights to conduct economic sabotage and secondary boycotts. So what happens over time? Business with unionized employees come under attack from both directions -- from unions who put pressure on their business partners, customers, et al. to not do business with them, and by those other business partners, customers, et al. to pressure the business to get away from this unionism. Simply put, this provision to legalize secondary boycotts and strikes is just absolutely fucked in the head. It will make us all worse off, including unions themselves. It's a vote in favor of (economic) civil war. Civil war does not make countries better off.

This kind of legislation makes it really hard to want to support Democrats this year. All of the Presidential candidates have pledged being in favor of this law.

Who here can explain how they can ideologically support provisions #1 through #4 above?
 
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Everybody has an opinion. I went to your provided link for the following. It indicates it IS a bi-partisan bill which will die in #MoscowMitch's graveyard called the Impeached Trump Senate.
:cool:


<<.....>>

The Protecting the Right to Organize Act (PRO Act) was approved in a 224-193 vote. The bill, said to be one of the most comprehensive labor packages put forth in years, is not expected to move in the Republican Senate.

Republicans Reps. Brian Fitzpatrick (Pa.), Chris Smith (N.J.), John Katko (N.Y.), Don Young (Alaska), and Jefferson Van Drew (N.J.), a former Democrat who switched parties last month, voted for the bill.

The bill would make it easier for workers to certify unions, change how employers classify workers, prevent workers from being denied rights because of immigration status, eliminate state right-to-work laws and block laws that protect employees from not paying union dues, among other measures.

The legislation was introduced by House Education and Labor Committee Chairman Bobby Scott (D-Va.) and had 218 co-sponsors. .....
 
Feb 2011
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Everybody has an opinion. I went to your provided link for the following. It indicates it IS a bi-partisan bill
Five out of 197 Republicans (2.5%) voted for it. Two out of 232 Democrats (0.8%) voted against it. That is not a bipartisan bill.

Let's think about just one of those Republicans who voted in favor. Don Young. He's been in the House since the Nixon adminstration, the lone representative from a state that is the 2nd or 3rd most unionized in the country, which has been able to get a union lobbyist (Mark Begich) elected to the U.S. Senate... so how have unions not been able to oust Don Young after all these decades? They've agreed not to try. Unions long ago struck a deal with Young that he could vote with Republicans most of the time (preserving most state Republican votes), as long as he splits with his party over bills when Big Labor really wants him to, in return for which Big Labor agrees not to fund campaigns against him. This guarantees he'll never, ever lose re-election. If dead people could be elected to the House, a dead Don Young would be. He'll never lose.

As an aside, Murkowski has taken note of Young's success too, which is why she's sympathetic to Big Labor and is known for splitting with the party on key votes. The favor she gets for doing this is that unions agree not to heavily campaign against her. They'll focus all their resources on removing the other Senator from Alaska, who they really despise.

But all of that is just the politics around it. The actual policy involves some really, really sick provisions. Which you haven't attempted to defend.
 
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Crusher

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DOA - They are trying to force people into Unions.

I am 100% for Private Unions, but not for forcing people into them. Public Unions are an abomination and should have never happened.
 
Feb 2011
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DOA - They are trying to force people into Unions.

I am 100% for Private Unions, but not for forcing people into them. Public Unions are an abomination and should have never happened.
Unions would say you are decidedly not for them, because the entire way they operate and have operated for over a century has relied on being able to "force" people into them. Unions are not sellers of a voluntary service the way attorneys or insurance agencies sell their services to people. They are private organizations that are uniquely permitted to effectively "force" people to associate with them by designing "bargaining units" whereby only a majority needs to actually want their services, and then they can compel the remainder (who don't) to receive the services anyway. It's called "exclusive representation" and it's what unions have long used as a rationalization for trying to force people to pay them.

If you don't support these methods, then unions would say you don't support unions.
 
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Five out of 197 Republicans (2.5%) voted for it. Two out of 232 Democrats (0.8%) voted against it. That is not a bipartisan bill.

Let's think about just one of those Republicans who voted in favor. Don Young. He's been in the House since the Nixon adminstration, the lone representative from a state that is the 2nd or 3rd most unionized in the country, which has been able to get a union lobbyist (Mark Begich) elected to the U.S. Senate... so how have unions not been able to oust Don Young after all these decades? They've agreed not to try. Unions long ago struck a deal with Young that he could vote with Republicans most of the time (preserving most state Republican votes), as long as he splits with his party over bills when Big Labor really wants him to, in return for which Big Labor agrees not to fund campaigns against him. This guarantees he'll never, ever lose re-election. If dead people could be elected to the House, a dead Don Young would be. He'll never lose.

As an aside, Murkowski has taken note of Young's success too, which is why she's sympathetic to Big Labor and is known for splitting with the party on key votes. The favor she gets for doing this is that unions agree not to heavily campaign against her. They'll focus all their resources on removing the other Senator from Alaska, who they really despise.

But all of that is just the politics around it. The actual policy involves some really, really sick provisions. Which you haven't attempted to defend.
Then what would you call it? It certainly doesn't fit partisan.
:cool:


This is in contrast to partisanship, where an individual or political party only adheres to their interests without compromise.
 
Feb 2011
17,276
6,251
Boise, ID
Then what would you call it? It certainly doesn't fit partisan.

This is in contrast to partisanship, where an individual or political party only adheres to their interests without compromise.
I'm not that interested in whatever hairsplitting semantics you're after here. 2.5% Republican support and 0.8% Democrat opposition doesn't rise to the level of "bipartisan" for me.

My main concerns are the actual implications of the four provisions of this policy described above.
 
Feb 2011
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Boise, ID
I operate a small business that relies very heavily on a third party vendor of a certain type of cloud based software platform.

Let's say the company that sells that software has a group of employees that unionize and then become locked in a labor dispute over wages. I have zero control over their labor dispute, other than what powers of persuasion little old me might have over someone who runs the software company who might listen to my opinion. Nonetheless, a union manager knocks on my door and warns me, "you sign this petition that tells the software company that you'll abandon them as a customer and go with their competitor if they don't agree to our terms, or if you don't sign the petition, we'll picket in front of your business and tell your customers you're anti-worker and do all we can to turn your customers away."

This is a secondary boycott. It is straight up coercion, to the bone. It directly harms me no matter what I do. If I switch software, that is a massive undertaking that would come at tremendous personal and business cost to me. If I don't switch software, or threaten to do so, I will be picketed and my customers will be driven away because they don't want to be harassed for "crossing a picket line." And let's say I cower to the union and switch software. The union will (if they haven't already) organize workers from the competing company and engage in the exact same actions as leverage over that competitor. They'll go back and forth doing this as much as they want.

Secondary boycotts are illegal, have been illegal for 73 years, and should remain illegal. The PRO Act wants to make them legal. Virtually all Democrats support secondary boycotts. That is demented. Someone explain to me why you think secondary boycotts should be legal. Explain why businesses of all kinds should be able to be picketed, boycotted, intimidated, coerced and economically sabotaged over disputes they're not a part of and can't control.
 
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