Throughout the essay, I will discuss the aspects of the law (NLRA) that I find most troublesome, and why. In addition, I will endeavor to propose, given the opportunity, what I would do to correct the problems and what effect do I think my solution might have.
The National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), also known as the Wagner Act, is a United States labor law passed in 1935. It protects workers’ rights to organize and makes it illegal (via the enforcement of the NLRB) for employers to interfere with that right.
Like Marxism (Communism), NLRA looks better in theory than in practice. For worse, the NLRA was handicapped by the Taft-Hartley Act, passed in 1947, which seek to reverse the gains achieved by the unions via the NLRA.
If I should be given the opportunity, I would abolish the Taft-Hartley Act (otherwise, known as the slave labor law), especially due to its creation of a division in the NLRB so that the people (the General Counsel) prosecuting unfair labor practices were not the same people (the Board) making the final determination. (Please see my answer to the Short Answer question 3 for further discussion.) Thus, the NLRA would once more become ‘a level playing field.’
Bear in mind, the NLRA, as amended, in its present form is similar to an apple with many worm holes (pun on loop holes). I could write a thesis on the many problems of the NLRA and offer solutions but I am limited by the scope of this paper.
The next problem of the NLRA pertains to the NLRB elections. (Please see my Essay # 1 for further elaboration.) NLRB elections provide certain protective features – the privacy of the voting booth; the secret ballot, and governmental oversight. On the other hand, its campaign can create a hostile and adversarial relationship whereas an employer (e.g., Wal-Mart) intent on resisting workers’ self-organization can drag out legal proceedings for years, fearing little more than an order to post a written notice in the workplace promising not to repeat unlawful conduct.
For a solution (as Dr. Erik Peterson eloquently argued), we don’t need to look any further than card check agreements – build trust between union and employer and avoid expending public and private resources on unnecessary election campaigns. Similarly, the 2000 Human Rights Watch Report recommended that Public policy should encourage the use of voluntary card-check agreements as an alternative means of establishing workers’ majority sentiment and collective bargaining rights.
Speaking of Public policy, the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) that is currently making its way through Congress would be a remedy to the setback suffered by the decision made in the case: Dana Corp.; Metaldyne Corp. 351 NLRB No. 28 (2007). (Please see my earlier essay for further explanation). According to http://www.laborlawyers.com,
This new law would allow, or perhaps require, recognition of unions by a company that is presented with a sufficient number of “voluntarily” signed union authorization cards. Other controversial provisions of the law would require companies and unions that cannot reach a first contract to submit their dispute to mandatory binding arbitration.
In conclusion, I discussed the aspects of the law (NLRA) that I find most troublesome, and why. In addition, I endeavored to propose, given the opportunity, what I would do to correct the problems and what effect do I think my solution might have.