‘Free choice’ labor law said unworkable

Sep 29, 2009 | 05:15 AM | Corinna Petry

The Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) will "eviscerate what has worked for 60 years" in U.S. labor-management relations, especially with regard to the practice of good-faith bargaining, and is open to abuses "that could put employers out of business," a labor law expert said.

Allen Gross, a partner at Mitchell, Silberberg & Knupp LLP, Los Angeles, acknowledges that his perspective is from the employers' side, but said the legislation (S.560) presents practical problems for unions as well.

"With regard to bargaining, the existing law (states that) the employer and union are legally obligated to meet at reasonable times and bargain in good faith on wages, hours, (benefits) and terms and conditions of employment," he said in an exclusive interview with AMM. "The paradigm allows for neither party to have to agree to any proposal. The hammer is that if no agreement is reached, each side can exercise its option to engage in economic activity—in the form of the union striking or the employer locking out employees."....

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