Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Stand for "Rand"

Since this is my birthday today, I'm going to keep it short and simple.    The other day, two analysts with the Fraser Institute opined in the National Post and suggested that Canada should drop the "Rand Formula" and adopt a "right to work" (READ:  Right to employ the way the employer wants) regime to regain our competitiveness, as 22 US States have done.

Wrong, wrong, wrong.

Much as I have a beef with unions, they're the reason why so many people -- unionized or not -- have fringe benefits and pay scales better than minimum.   We don't want a race to the bottom.   We need a race to the top.   Besides which, employees do have a choice already whether they want to join or not in most circumstances (those opting out pay an amount equivalent to dues but have the amount donated to charity) -- since everyone gets the benefits, then everyone should pay for them.   If you don't want the benefits, then you should be willing to work for a lower wage (and of course, the vast majority do not want to do this).

I support the Rand Formula (or agency shop, as it's properly called); however the major changes I would make are 1) Union certification votes must be done by written secret ballot, even where a majority have already signed union cards, to give people a second chance to think it over; 2) Since all people pay the dues or the like they should have a say in the contracts, also by written secret ballot; and 3) No more closed shops (you must join whether you like it or not, for obvious reasons some may not want to join).

There need not be a conflict between labour and employer.   If both have a reason to work together then there will be every reason to be more competitive.

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Cliff said...

Having been on the receiving end of campaigns of intimidation from an employer including captive audience meetings and threats to shut down business altogether if the union got its way - I cvan tell you that adding a ballot vote after a successful card check certification would be a deathblow for most new unions as the employers intimidate and lie to get a different result between the card check and the vote.

It would be a regressive step backward.

WILLY said...

Happy birthday.

BlastFurnace said...

To be clear, Cliff, if the percentage of people within a bargaining unit who have signed cards is so high, say over 60%, that the intent is clear, then I can't see why the Labour Board shouldn't automatically certify. It's where it's close, say 50% plus or minus 2, that a vote may be required but the vote should happen very quickly to prevent the kind of intimidation you refer to (we all remember what Michelin did in Nova Scotia in the 1980s).

Of course, that's just how I feel. The main point is absolutely protect the compulsory check-off once certification happens.

CanPharm said...

First of all I would wish you happy birthday. And you are thinking in right way about the laborious and the employee. As there is always a difference between them.