Al Franken, Unions, and the Truth

The Coalition for a Democratic Workplace, “an ad-hoc alliance of industry groups opposed to federal legislation that would make it easier for workers to unionize (NPR),” continues to put more ads on television tearing into democratic candidates, including Al Franken in Minnesota. This video, above, from WCCO points out the inaccuracies of the advetisement. Here’s a bit more info about CDW:

CDW is a front group for business associations, industry lobbying groups, and right-wing policy centers who are against workers getting a fair shake in this economy. Its financial backers include some of the most virulent anti-worker and anti-union organizations in the country, including:

  • the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the nation’s most powerful business lobbying organization,
  • the Retail Industry Leaders Association, a group whose biggest member is Wal-Mart, the poster child for low wages,
  • and the Associated Builders and Contractors, an association of anti-union contractors who fight against workers having unions to improve their wages and safety on the job.

CDW is doing the dirty work for CEOs and corporate special interests. Too ashamed to be fighting publicly against policies that would provide workers with real economic opportunities, these companies instead use their deep pockets and powerful influence to fund CDW’s dishonest PR and lobbying campaign.

The CEOs and multimillion dollar business industry groups backing CDW don’t care about democracy or privacy. They’re distorting the truth because they want to stop workers from having a better standard of living, access to health care, job security, and the rest of the benefits that accompany union membership. These same groups oppose everything from paid sick days to fair pay and even the hugely popular Family and Medical Leave Act. It’s unbelievable that business interests would suddenly care about privacy now, when corporations increasingly monitor employees’ every move – including e-mail, phone calls, personal belongings, and even interactions outside of the workplace.

CDW spreads misinformation. Contrary to the lies and distortions displayed in CDW’s new TV ad and on its website, the Employee Free Choice Act does not take secret ballots away from workers. The legislation instead offers employees an alternative to the current, broken system that is slanted heavily in favor of management against workers. In fact, the bill would ensure that workers can choose their own union formation process, either through majority sign-up or a National Labor Relations Board election.

CDW’s own data and research is flawed. Instead of using well-respected academic research and public opinion surveys to test the merits and support for the Employee Free Choice Act, CDW released a poll in April 2008 claiming widespread opposition to the bill. However, even the most conservative political scientists and pundits could easily review the poll’s loaded questions and determine that it in no way accurately tested the public’s perceptions on the issue.

From American Rights at Work

The new ad, in the style of television show 24, was not to be found on the internet. It suggests the same things as this ad discussed on WCCO news. Again, I point out, make sure you research information concerning your candidates before you make your decision. False advertising like this is all over the TV, the internet, and newspapers. Be informed.

**Edit: 15 October 2008, 6:29 am CST

Found the video I was searching for, and it turns out it is not from CDW, but instead from NFIB Safe Trust.

And, apparently I’ve been called out about my resources, although I still stand by them. For those who are interested, I’m posting the actual wording of the Employee Free Choice Act:

Employee Free Choice Act of 2007 (Placed on Calendar in Senate)

HR 800 PCS

Calendar No. 66 110th CONGRESS 1st Session H. R. 800

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

March 1, 2007

Received and read the first time

March 2, 2007

Read the second time and placed on the calendar


AN ACT

To amend the National Labor Relations Act to establish an efficient system to enable employees to form, join, or assist labor organizations, to provide for mandatory injunctions for unfair labor practices during organizing efforts, and for other purposes.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the `Employee Free Choice Act of 2007′.

SEC. 2. STREAMLINING UNION CERTIFICATION.

    (a) In General- Section 9(c) of the National Labor Relations Act (29 U.S.C. 159(c)) is amended by adding at the end the following:
    `(6) Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, whenever a petition shall have been filed by an employee or group of employees or any individual or labor organization acting in their behalf alleging that a majority of employees in a unit appropriate for the purposes of collective bargaining wish to be represented by an individual or labor organization for such purposes, the Board shall investigate the petition. If the Board finds that a majority of the employees in a unit appropriate for bargaining has signed valid authorizations designating the individual or labor organization specified in the petition as their bargaining representative and that no other individual or labor organization is currently certified or recognized as the exclusive representative of any of the employees in the unit, the Board shall not direct an election but shall certify the individual or labor organization as the representative described in subsection (a).
    `(7) The Board shall develop guidelines and procedures for the designation by employees of a bargaining representative in the manner described in paragraph (6). Such guidelines and procedures shall include–
    • `(A) model collective bargaining authorization language that may be used for purposes of making the designations described in paragraph (6); and
    • `(B) procedures to be used by the Board to establish the validity of signed authorizations designating bargaining representatives.’.
    (b) Conforming Amendments-
    • (1) NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS BOARD- Section 3(b) of the National Labor Relations Act (29 U.S.C. 153(b)) is amended, in the second sentence–
      • (A) by striking `and to’ and inserting `to’; and
      • (B) by striking `and certify the results thereof,’ and inserting `, and to issue certifications as provided for in that section,’.
    • (2) UNFAIR LABOR PRACTICES- Section 8(b) of the National Labor Relations Act (29 U.S.C. 158(b)) is amended–
      • (A) in paragraph (7)(B) by striking `, or’ and inserting `or a petition has been filed under section 9(c)(6), or’; and
      • (B) in paragraph (7)(C) by striking `when such a petition has been filed’ and inserting `when such a petition other than a petition under section 9(c)(6) has been filed’.

SEC. 3. FACILITATING INITIAL COLLECTIVE BARGAINING AGREEMENTS.

    Section 8 of the National Labor Relations Act (29 U.S.C. 158) is amended by adding at the end the following:
    `(h) Whenever collective bargaining is for the purpose of establishing an initial agreement following certification or recognition, the provisions of subsection (d) shall be modified as follows:
    • `(1) Not later than 10 days after receiving a written request for collective bargaining from an individual or labor organization that has been newly organized or certified as a representative as defined in section 9(a), or within such further period as the parties agree upon, the parties shall meet and commence to bargain collectively and shall make every reasonable effort to conclude and sign a collective bargaining agreement.
    • `(2) If after the expiration of the 90-day period beginning on the date on which bargaining is commenced, or such additional period as the parties may agree upon, the parties have failed to reach an agreement, either party may notify the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service of the existence of a dispute and request mediation. Whenever such a request is received, it shall be the duty of the Service promptly to put itself in communication with the parties and to use its best efforts, by mediation and conciliation, to bring them to agreement.
    • `(3) If after the expiration of the 30-day period beginning on the date on which the request for mediation is made under paragraph (2), or such additional period as the parties may agree upon, the Service is not able to bring the parties to agreement by conciliation, the Service shall refer the dispute to an arbitration board established in accordance with such regulations as may be prescribed by the Service. The arbitration panel shall render a decision settling the dispute and such decision shall be binding upon the parties for a period of 2 years, unless amended during such period by written consent of the parties.’.

SEC. 4. STRENGTHENING ENFORCEMENT.

    (a) Injunctions Against Unfair Labor Practices During Organizing Drives-
    • (1) IN GENERAL- Section 10(l) of the National Labor Relations Act (29 U.S.C. 160(l)) is amended–
      • (A) in the second sentence, by striking `If, after such’ and inserting the following:
    `(2) If, after such’; and
      • (B) by striking the first sentence and inserting the following:
    `(1) Whenever it is charged–
    • `(A) that any employer–
      • `(i) discharged or otherwise discriminated against an employee in violation of subsection (a)(3) of section 8;
      • `(ii) threatened to discharge or to otherwise discriminate against an employee in violation of subsection (a)(1) of section 8; or
      • `(iii) engaged in any other unfair labor practice within the meaning of subsection (a)(1) that significantly interferes with, restrains, or coerces employees in the exercise of the rights guaranteed in section 7;
    • while employees of that employer were seeking representation by a labor organization or during the period after a labor organization was recognized as a representative defined in section 9(a) until the first collective bargaining contract is entered into between the employer and the representative; or
    • `(B) that any person has engaged in an unfair labor practice within the meaning of subparagraph (A), (B) or (C) of section 8(b)(4), section 8(e), or section 8(b)(7);
    the preliminary investigation of such charge shall be made forthwith and given priority over all other cases except cases of like character in the office where it is filed or to which it is referred.’.
    • (2) CONFORMING AMENDMENT- Section 10(m) of the National Labor Relations Act (29 U.S.C. 160(m)) is amended by inserting `under circumstances not subject to section 10(l)’ after `section 8′.
    (b) Remedies for Violations-
    • (1) BACKPAY- Section 10(c) of the National Labor Relations Act (29 U.S.C. 160(c)) is amended by striking `And provided further,‘ and inserting `Provided further, That if the Board finds that an employer has discriminated against an employee in violation of subsection (a)(3) of section 8 while employees of the employer were seeking representation by a labor organization, or during the period after a labor organization was recognized as a representative defined in subsection (a) of section 9 until the first collective bargaining contract was entered into between the employer and the representative, the Board in such order shall award the employee back pay and, in addition, 2 times that amount as liquidated damages: Provided further,‘.
    • (2) CIVIL PENALTIES- Section 12 of the National Labor Relations Act (29 U.S.C. 162) is amended–
      • (A) by striking `Any’ and inserting `(a) Any’; and
      • (B) by adding at the end the following:
    `(b) Any employer who willfully or repeatedly commits any unfair labor practice within the meaning of subsections (a)(1) or (a)(3) of section 8 while employees of the employer are seeking representation by a labor organization or during the period after a labor organization has been recognized as a representative defined in subsection (a) of section 9 until the first collective bargaining contract is entered into between the employer and the representative shall, in addition to any make-whole remedy ordered, be subject to a civil penalty of not to exceed $20,000 for each violation. In determining the amount of any penalty under this section, the Board shall consider the gravity of the unfair labor practice and the impact of the unfair labor practice on the charging party, on other persons seeking to exercise rights guaranteed by this Act, or on the public interest.’.

Passed the House of Representatives March 1, 2007.

Attest:

LORRAINE C. MILLER,

Clerk.

Calendar No. 66

110th CONGRESS 1st SessionH. R. 800

AN ACT

To amend the National Labor Relations Act to establish an efficient system to enable employees to form, join, or assist labor organizations, to provide for mandatory injunctions for unfair labor practices during organizing efforts, and for other purposes.

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