BETHESDA, Md. The Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) will be an important focus for the Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association’s (AAIA) Aftermarket Legislative Summit this year, scheduled for March 11-12 in Washington, D.C.
AAIA explains that the EFCA would make it easier for shops to become unionized by replacing the long-standing tradition of casting a private ballot with a system of card checks. This would allow a union to organize if a majority of workers sign the cards. The process would be overseen by paid union organizers, not the federal government, and each worker’s choice is ultimately made known to their employer, co-workers and the union organizers.
"Needless to say, adopting such a system will lead to the coercion and intimidation of the American worker," said Aaron Lowe, AAIA vice president, government affairs. "If the union organizers are confident that the employees want to be represented by them, then they should not have a problem with the traditional American practice of private ballots."
Additionally, EFCA contains a provision that mandates compulsory, binding arbitration on the employer and the employees as part the collective bargaining process if an agreement cannot be reached within the first 120 days of negotiations. This provision would permit a third-party government official to impose terms of a labor contract that are binding upon both parties, even if one or both parties find those terms unacceptable. Under this provision, unionized employees could find themselves with no say in the imposition of a contract that could have a major impact on their livelihood.
"The aftermarket needs to make its opposition to this bad piece of legislation known to Congress as part of their congressional visits during the summit," Lowe said. "It is ironic that the labor unions, energized by the recent presidential election that of course was conducted through private ballot, want to push for legislation that would do away with this practice in the workplace."
Online registration for the 2009 Aftermarket Legislative Summit is now available. For information on how to register, visit www.aftermarket.org or contact Cael Pulitzer at 301-654-6664 or e-mail [email protected]. The hotel block at the Washington Grand Hyatt is filling up fast so it is important to make reservations as soon as possible. The summit registration and hotel reservation deadline is Feb. 15.