Tulsa, OK (PRWEB) March 4, 2009
Exposing a key flaw of the Employee Free Choice Act, the Labor Relations Institute is offering a $10,000 reward to the first Federal arbitrator who can show they have settled a first contract between a union and a private-sector employer in less than 90 days.
"The Employee Free Choice Act puts a 90-day limit on the bargaining process before the employer and union members are effectively removed from the negotiation. In our experience, this timeline is simply unrealistic," said Phillip B. Wilson, president and general counsel for LRI, the nation's leading union avoidance and positive employee-relations consultants. "That is, unless there are a large number of Super arbitrators out there we have yet to meet. To make this point, we're offering one dollar for each of the 10,000 union elections we've been involved in that not a single arbitrator will come forward to accept this prize."
LRI opposes all three sections of the Employee Free Choice Act: card check, binding arbitration and increased employer penalties, but says arbitration is the most dangerous, and overlooked part of the legislation.
"The freedom and security of Oklahoma's workforce will be negatively impacted if this bad piece of legislation becomes law," said Richard P. Rush, president and CEO of The State Chamber of Oklahoma.
"Card check gets all the attention because the idea of taking away people's right to vote is such a divisive and emotionally charged thing," Wilson said. "We feel it's only a smoke screen for the true fatal flaw, which is the horrible arbitration process which takes power away from the employers and union members by putting the long-term fate of the company in the hands of people unqualified to make those decisions, and who don't have a stake in the outcome of those decisions."
To qualify for the $10,000 reward, in the form of a one-time donation in their name to the charity of their choice, the arbitrator must meet the following criteria:
1. Must be active on the FMCS (Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service - the arbitration federal agency named in the proposed legislation) list of arbitrators.
2. Must document that he or she served as the first-chair negotiator during the successful negotiation of a first contract between a union and a private-sector employer in less than 90 days after that union was certified as the collective bargaining representative in an NLRB-supervised election, anytime after 1990.
3. The bargaining unit had to have at least 100 members.
4. The bargaining unit must be in an organization without a neutrality agreement or any other type agreement that would allow union representation without opposition (example: there are organizations that have master agreements in effect so that if a new unit is established the master agreement would apply and only local issues would be negotiated).
Those interested in applying should call Phillip Wilson at 918.361.4497 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
LRI hopes the reward will catch the attention of some of those engaged in both sides of the debate, and encourage them to stop focusing so much attention on the card check issue and look more closely at binding arbitration.
"Unfortunately, it seems clear that the Employee Free Choice Act is likely to pass, and while we put our faith in the system that all of the fine points of the legislation will be discussed at length and the ramifications clearly considered, our message to business owners is to start educating themselves on the issues now, because if it passes the environment in which they do business will be radically different," Wilson said.
About Labor Relations Institute
Labor Relations Institute, Inc. is the nation's leading union avoidance and positive employee-relations consultants. LRI provides the widest possible range of consulting, employee communications products, sophisticated databases and deep intelligence services. LRI's products and services have been used in more than 10,000 union elections. For more information, please visit http://www.lrionline.com.