Archive for April 9th, 2009

For far too long the union movement has been hampered from growing into the large retail sector by the ridiculous reason that their employees don’t want to be in a union. Thanks to the efforts of the unions to support the Employee Free Choice Act, such petty reasons to not form a union will finally be dispensed with.

In our current unfair system, once a sufficient number of employee check card signatures are gathered a period of campaigning begins, during which time the employer is allowed to try to give reasons why a union would be bad for the employees, but is not allowed to make threats or to make bribes. Nor is he allowed to fire union organizers without exceedingly good cause. The union is able to make promises of higher wages or better working conditions. Then a secret ballot election ensues, monitored by the government to ensure it is fair.

The secret ballot is horribly unfair, it allows employer to intimidate the employees even though the employer has no way of knowing who voted which way. Instead we can have the intimidation free union recruiting when Sal the Shiv, Moose, and Knuckles walk up to an employee and say “Youze gonna sign this union card? Youze gonna sign it cause youze don’t want no ‘accidents’ to happen.”

Some contrary types are going to claim they were threatened, from the safety of the anonymity of police protection. They are going to claim that their health or life or family were threatened. We know they’re actually just trying to cause trouble. The only reason they are anonymously reporting that their life was threatened was to ensure that they don’t get served court papers for defamation after they drag the good name of Bruno the Bruiser through the mud. If they really meant what they were saying they’d be proud to say it publicly.

Under the current unfair system, the initial round of union talks require both sides to act in good faith and gives both sides time to prepare for the initial negotiations. If the EFCA passes, a union can organize in secret (and it had better be in secret says Kneecapper Gus) and present its demands as a fully formed union at the negotiation table as the first indication that a union is forming in the first place – and good faith won’t even be demanded of the union. Unions always negotiate in good faith, they never make unrealistic or unreasonable demands.

Resistance to the EFCA shows that employees really don’t know what they want, and need to be told to be in a union even if they mistakenly think that they don’t want to be in one. They just don’t know what is in their own best interests, no matter how much they think they do. Who cares if less people are hired due to higher union wages? They’ll be compensated with welfare that is probably higher than what any non-union employer would pay. It doesn’t matter where people get their money, as long as they get it, so it will all work out. Plus they’ll need those higher welfare payments to afford the higher prices at the now-unionized stores. If they ever wished they could afford expensive items their wish will be granted as the items they shop for will be the expensive items.

Knowing all of that, there is no reason for anyone to oppose the act which gives Unions the free choice of Employees.  And they’d better know there’s no good reason to oppose this if they know what’s good for them.

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The former colonial powers of the world are feeling a consequence of colonialism in the relocation of formerly colonized people to their own shores: Asians and Africans to Europe, Latin Americans to the United States.

In Russia, many of the people who are the scapegoats and bogeymen of the anti-migration nationalists come not only from the now independent former Soviet Republics and Soviet client states in places like Africa, but also from areas which are still part of Russia, and which Russia is still fighting to control – Chechnya, Dagestan, etc. In Moscow, the rallying cry of the xenophobic separatists is not just “Russia for Russians,” but also “Moscow for Muscovites.”

And that brings in mind a point….will migration control freaks in other countries also soon seek to restrict internal migration? Do the arguments they make for restricting migration freedom apply equally to movement between states, counties, cities, neighborhoods, blocks, or even houses?

It’s not as if anti-internal migration sentiments would be entirely new in, for example, the US. Northerners moving to the south are still sometimes called carpetbaggers, many Western states disparage “californication,” Floridians have “Florida Native” car decals, California once grappled with Okies in the first great depression.

With another depression showing signs of getting underway, will the US once again see efforts to restrict movement of people from parts of the country that are harder hit?

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