ERA: RANK-AND-FILE REVOLT?

From the desk of Steve Cabot: It has always suited union bosses to paint employers as privileged ogres getting rich off the backs of their workers. Envy and resentment are emotions easily stoked and manipulated, and Big Labor has been shameless in using “us/them” rhetoric to distract the rank-and-file from the real workplace abuses, namely their loss of individual rights.

Times are changing, however. Workers have begun to shake off their shackles and support measures restoring their liberty. One of the key pieces of legislation codifying these reforms is the Employee Rights Act (ERA), introduced in August 2011. The measure has been bottled up in committee by the Democrat majority in the Senate, but there appears to be a renewed groundswell of support for its passage, with at least 70% of union households now endorsing its key provisions. (See my September 2011 blog entry below for more specifics.)

While passage of an intact ERA is unlikely before this fall’s elections, supporters in Congress will attempt to attach individual elements to other legislation destined for a presidential signature. I’ll keep you posted on the latest developments as they unfold.

In other encouraging news, freedom of choice for employers and their workers got a big boost when Indiana became the 23rd right-to-work state, the first in the “rust belt” to do so. Unfortunately, the pushback against forced unionism has hit resistance elsewhere in union strongholds like Wisconsin, where the threat (and actuality) of recall elections has weakened the resolve of some reformers.

Whatever the political developments this year, however, we know the Obama administration will continue to push its anti-employer agenda – with or without constitutional authority. And should you find your organization needing assistance with any labor relations matters, I encourage you to call me directly on my cell phone (215-990-3423) or contact Georgetta McCabe, my administrative assistant, on her direct line: 800-655-2042.

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