“The union makes us strong”

After discussing various labor issues in the most recent podcast, I thought I’d provide a little background on the two bills we briefly discussed.

The first is the Employee Free Choice Act, now before Congress. As I noted in the podcast, this bill would allow “card checks” wherein if more than 50 percent of workers in a workplace sign a card stating they are interested in joining a union, the employer would be forced to recognize the union. This would allow a much faster route to unionization that the current system, which can take up to six weeks to have a secret-ballot vote — ample time for management to harass, threaten and even fire employees who support the union effort.

It will be interesting to see how the battle plays, but you can bet it will be battle.

Closer to home, the New Hampshire Senate recently passed a bill that would require employers to give employees 60 days’ notice if they are planning mass layoffs. Again, expect a battle when it goes to the House – one of the biggest opponents is defense contractor and major Nashua employer BAE Systems.

– Dandy Will

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