Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Video: PWC Committee of 100 Panel on EFCA

At the end of April the Prince William County Committee of 100 hosted an event that featured a panel discussion of the Employee Free Choice Act that was moderated by Mark Plotkin from WTOP. The panel included folks from both sides of the debate and featured Dan Duncan, President of the Northern Virginia Area Labor Federation, AFL-CIO; Ted Phelgar, Senior Counsel for the Workforce Freedom Initiative, U.S. Chamber of Commerce; James Young, Staff Attorney with the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation; and Nancy Schiffer, Associate General Counsel with the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations [AFL-CIO].

The program, which ran for about an hour and forty-five minutes, covered a variety of topics including the following:
  • How does it affect Virginia's Right To Work laws?
  • Is the secret ballot a cornerstone of democracy in the workplace?
  • Does the necessity of winning a majority of secretly cast votes raise an unreasonable barrier to employees seeking the opportunity to collectively bargain with employers?
  • Does management have too much power to threaten workers who want to unionize, if unions are unable to organize in private, by quietly soliciting worker signatures, rather than having to win a publicly scrutinized contested election?
  • Or are workers subject to undue coercion if they have to openly declare their position on whether to unionize in the presence of union organizers?
Thanks to the technical work of Jim Southworth, the video of the event is now available and can be seen below. I think this is a good discussion of how federal legislation would impact workers here in Virginia and across the country.

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