- "Card Check" portion of the bill has been discarded.
- Mandatory deadlines for elections when the union organizers feel they have a majority employee support.
- Mandatory arbitration for 'first contracts' between a newly formed union and the employer.
- Equal time access to employees for union organizers.
- Increase penalties to employers who violate labor laws to triple the current levels.
Republican legislators say that Specter's optimism over a passage of this bill before the end of the year is unrealistic. At the moment, Democrats do not have a filibuster proof majority in the Senate. We need to get every Republican on board to oppose this bill, because any legislation which gives unions additional leverage is a job killer.
Virginia, where I live, is a 'right to work' state. That means that trade unions are specifically barred from entering into agreement with employers so that new hires must join the union or pay union dues as a condition of employment. One of the arguments in favor of 'right to work' statutes is that right to work states tend to have lower unemployment rates than states that have not adopted this legislation. That is true.
The Unemployment Compensation Extension Act of 2009 (HR 3548) is very close to passage and would extend unemployment benefits another 13 weeks in states with unemployment levels above 8.5%. There are 23 states in the union which would not qualify for the extension (have unemployment rates below 8.5%). Of those states, more than half (12) are right to work states. Of the top ten states with the lowest unemployment rates, eight of them are 'right to work' states. They are:
- North Dakota (4.3%) - right to work
- South Dakota (4.9%) - right to work
- Nebraska (5.0%) - right to work
- Utah (6.0%) - right to work
- Virginia (6.5%) - right to work
- Montana (6.6%)
- Wyoming (6.6%) - right to work
- Iowa (6.8%) - right to work
- Oklahoma (6.8%) - right to work
- Vermont (6.8%)
I do understand that the there is an ideological connection (socialism) between the Democrat Party and 'Big Labor', I get that. However, if your goal is to "spread the wealth around, 'cause its good for everybody", one of the best ways to achieve that is by supporting 'right to work'. Unions hamper the economy, run corporations into the ground, and kill jobs.