In addition to its other anti-worker provisions, the misleadingly-named “Workplace Democracy Act” provides for the federal government to dictate what newly-unionized employers pay (and workers make) by empowering an “arbitration board” of government bureaucrats to decide what the parties’ contract would be—overriding what employers and, quite possibly, their employees desire.
The arbitration board 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. [WDA, page 5]
When the National Labor Relations Act was written in 1935—although the government mandated that employers and unions were required to bargain in “good faith”—the bill’s authors were careful to ensure that the role of government was not to dictate that the parties must agree.
As a result, employers and unions are free to agree and they are also free to disagree.
The National Labor Relations Act requires an employer to bargain in good faith with a union that represents the employer’s employees. However, the obligation to bargain in good faith “does not compel either party to agree to a proposal or require the making of a concession.”
Today, when unions are voted into workplaces for the first time, despite the promises union organizers may have made made to workers, union negotiators fail to get contracts for workers a significant percentage of the time.
The impotency of unions at the bargaining table has caused many union proponents to call for government action–to force employers into contracts, despite the well-being of the business or the jobs that business creates.
Within the text of the “Workplace Democracy Act,” (see page 4) there is a provision that eliminates an employers’ freedom of contract by mandating compulsory, binding arbitration on the employer and the employees if the two parties do not reach a collective bargaining agreement within the first 120 days of negotiations.
Under the proposed law, a government-imposed arbitration board, who may know nothing of running a private enterprise, would have the power to impose terms that are binding upon all parties, even if none of the parties accepted it.
In other words, if an employer did not agree to a contract with a union, the government-imposed arbitrator could compel the employer to honor the contract…irrespective of the employer’s individual business needs or conditions.
If employees do not like the contract imposed by the government’s arbitration board, even if they vote to reject it, there is no recourse…not even the right to strike.
Under these circumstances, employees and their employers become trapped at the hands of the federal government.
Employees’ only choice would be to take the government-imposed contract—or quit.
Employers’ only choice would be to try to survive under the government-imposed contract—or go out of business.