'Card Check' tramples worker's privacy rightsPosted by Pamela Kan, CMTA Board Member (President, Bishop-Wisecarver) on Dec. 10, 2008
The card check bill would eliminate decades of precedent established under the National Labor Relations Act of 1935 by taking away employees' freedom to choose under a federally supervised, private ballot election when deciding whether or not to join a union.
Current procedures lead to swift and fair elections—most elections are held within 56 days filing an election petition, and labor unions, nationally, prevail more than half of the time. Under current law, union organizers have to obtain the signatures of 30 percent of employees that express interest in joining a union. After these signatures are collected, union organizers can petition the National Labor Relations Board to hold a secret ballot election. If the labor union receives more than 50% of the vote in a federally-monitored secret ballot election, the union is certified and collective bargaining must begin.
However, under EFCA, secret ballot elections are replaced with a system called "card check" which allows a union to organize if a majority of employees simply sign an authorization card. Under this system, the employees' signatures are made public to the employer, the union organizers and co-workers. Under a card check system workers face intimidation and pressure about how they should choose from the union, from management or both.
Trading federally supervised private ballot elections for a card check process tramples the privacy of individual workers. Secret ballots are the only way to protect an individual's freedom to choose without subtle or overt coercion.
New research shows troubling signs for candidates who support the union "card check" legislation. The surveys conducted in states across the country show a majority of voters oppose the elimination of secret ballot union elections. This research also shows dissonance between union members’ concerns and the legislative agenda of union leaders. In most states, opposition to "card check" is actually higher among union households. However, organized labor has made it clear that passage of EFCA is their highest priority.
If Congress passes this proposal, they will be stripping away federally protected private ballots from the hands of American workers. Bishop-Wisecarver -- a union organized company in Pittsburg, California -- encourages the state's editorial media to expose the unfairness of this issue and asks employees and employers to urge their representatives to defeat this legislation.
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180,000 reasons to thank a small manufacturerPosted by Gino DiCaro, Vice President, Communications on Aug. 15, 2008
Bishop-Wisecarver Corp. purchased it for $180,000 more than they would have paid in other states because of California's lack of a sales tax exemption on the purchase of manufacturing equipment.
I was in Bishop-Wisecarver's Pittsburg, California facility this week on a plant tour, where this $3 million, 50-ton "grinder" was bought and placed to process extremely precise linear steel guides that help other manufacturers move product from one place to another. Think of an automobile manufacturer that has to move a large suspended transmission through its facility acreage. There's a good chance that those engines are guided through the air by Bishop-Wisecarver's products and this grinder helps them produce those materials faster and better.
Competitive pressures are increasing for Bishop-Wisecarver and its 56 employees in California. According to company President Pamela Kan, it was those pressures that made them purchase this $3 million miracle machine that makes them more productive. Shouldn't they be rewarded for making the sacrifice to compete in California's costly business climate? Instead they are faced with cost pressures that force them to buy more efficient equipment, then the State collects 6 percent on top while other states allow these highly coveted companies to keep the tax because of the larger economic benefits they produce for the region.
This decision would have been easier to make before the State's manufacturers investment credit expired in 2003. I can't speak for Bishop-Wisecarver, but the additional $180,000 could have gone into more employees, more salary, more benefits, more research and development, more electricity efficiencies, or price reductions to help make Bishop-Wisecarver more competitive in the marketplace.
I don't know which line item this money would have bolstered, but a $15 billion State budget deficit tells me that, wherever it went, it would have had better economic impacts supporting the hard working employees of Bishop-Wisecarver, its 466 California suppliers and even BWC's consumers than it would have had buffering the State's checking account. 180,000 "thank you's" go out to Bishop-Wisecarver and it's owner Bud Wisecarver (Bud's story) and President Pamela Kan for making the sacrifice! On another but similar note, buying equipment will be much easier for the much ballyhooed Tesla Motors who received the 6 percent credit through an end-around detailed in the Governor Schwarzenegger's press release. Why only them? Who knows.
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