Thursday, September 25, 2008
The -- half century outdated -- card check
I support the card check bill as one -- outdated -- way to get around the obstacle course placed in the way of union organizing votes -- nobody should have to run the gauntlet just to vote on an political or economic level.
But why is the only proposal on the table an early twentieth century labor law -- retread -- that some smart labor lawyer luckily spotted a few years back -- suppose he hadn't spotted it; can't we think for ourselves?
The late twentieth century answer to the race to the bottom -- to Wal-Mart killing the pay scales of legitimate workplaces -- is SECTOR-WIDE labor agreements: where everybody doing the same job in the same geographic locale must under law work under a common collective bargaining contract even for different firms.
Wal-Mart just closed 88 big boxes in Germany because it could not make out paying the same wages and benefits as everyone else. Supermarket workers and airline employees here would kill for sector-wide agreements.
Germany has the most comprehensive version of sector-wide -- France has a "lite" version where nonunion firms must work under contracts negotiated by union firms. French-Canada has the latter. Our economy is almost the same as French-Canada -- it should be no trouble to incorporate sector-wide "lite" here.
Under German style sector-wide scabs should not exist because everybody must work under the same contract -- and scabs have no contract.
Argentina (second-world) uses sector-wide. Indonesia (third-world) uses sector-wide. Even if we get card check here, American labor law will still be behind the third-world. What are we fourth-world?