It’s a bill. I don’t have strong feelings about it either way.

It will establish card check recognition for union representation. That’s fine, if folks want that. That doesn’t build working class organization, though. It will introduce stiffer penalties for union busting activity, which is good, though I’m not clear if the language on Unfair Labor Practices applies also to effort to quash concerted activity, or only union-recognition/officially recognized union activity. If it doesn’t apply to concerted activity then it’s not as exciting or useful. I haven’t checked the act against the NLRA yet, which might clear up some of these ambiguities for me.

I don’t like the language on arbitration and binding mediation:

“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.’.”

Two year binding arbitration? In some situations that might prove better – employers required to back off etc – but in others it definitely won’t – workers required to back off, and stripped of at least some rights. If that 2 year period also includes limits on concerted activity then that’s totally fucked, an extension of some of the idea of Taft-Hartley and injunctions (see Angela on contract as border).

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