St. Petersburg Meeting with the WARN (Worker Action and Research Network) staff yesterday in St. Pete, we found ourselves talking about Wal-Mart and the organizing challenge represented by huge retail employers like W-M in the US and Canada. All of which brings up the daunting issue of labor law reform and the imbalance now that favors such companies over workers and unions in such a woeful fashion.
The papers were full of reports of possible compromises looking for a way to secure a vote here or there. Some of it was patently absurd. Workers just can’t seem to catch a break!
Good example: Chamber of Commerce. One story, I think by the Times’ Greenhouse said the Chamber was demanding 45 days between filing and an election – heck, the average now is less than than I think! These folks are obviously just obfuscating.
There is talk about “quick” elections in the 21 day or 3 week range, which would be about half the average now. Anything might be better than what we have, but one world of hurt can be administered to workers in 3 weeks by these lawyer and consultant goons, so it’s unclear whether that will solve the problem or any real problem at all?
Senator Diane Feinstein from California seemed to be shopping a compromise that would forego elections if a majority of workers mailed in their signed cards to the NLRB for cross checking. Frankly, that’s a hard one for me to follow. A business might want to challenge the demand for recognition if it is presented to the labor board, but would not if it were mailed to the labor board? Would the future rely on constant litigation trying to prove whether a worker personally went to the mailbox or had a friend or their local union representative go to the mailbox for them? Huh?
Why all of the grabbing at straws? This is broken. Fix it!