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TLMI takes a stand on union election act

March 17, 2009

The label association opposes EFCA, saying the proposed US act could be “detrimental” to the workplace.

The Tag and Label Manufacturers Institute (TLMI) has publicly announced its opposition to the pending US Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA), better known as “Card Check." The TLMI board of directors has published a formal position statement outlining the association’s stance against EFCA/Card Check, saying that it could engender “detrimental repercussions in the workplace.”

TLMI says it opposes the Employee Free Choice Act for the following reasons:

“Under Card Check, a union could simply collect authorization cards signed by a majority of employees in a bargaining unit to be recognized as the representative of all the employees in that unit. This process would eliminate the secret ballot election, where employees can privately express preferences and prevent anyone, including co-workers, union organizers or company officials, from finding out how they voted. Card Check is not 'free choice' – choices made without privacy would make workers more vulnerable to coercion and intimidation. To take away the prized American value of secret ballots in order to skew the results in favor of one side would be a huge mistake.

“Secret ballots are good for democracies; they should be good for union elections as well.

“Card Check would allow a federal arbitrator to write the labor agreement defining every detail about how employees will work for two years if the parties have not reached agreement within 120 days – a very short time for negotiating first contracts. This provides an incentive for union negotiators to make sure the process lasts long enough to get into arbitration and destroys incentives to negotiate in good faith. It would also deprive employees of their opportunity to ratify their first contract – it would be imposed on all with no ability for either employers or employees to challenge it.

“One outside individual’s view should not determine whether a business remains viable.

“The Employee Free Choice Act also dramatically increases penalties on employers for certain violations of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) without increasing any penalties on unions for violations that they might commit. Fair penalties cannot be one-sided.

“Balance is essential to fairness; NLRA objectives cannot be achieved without fairness.”