Among the issues most commonly discussed are individuality, the rights of the individual, the limits of legitimate government, morality, history, economics, government policy, science, business, education, health care, energy, and man-made global warming evaluations. My posts are aimed at intelligent and rational individuals, whose comments are very welcome.

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20 June 2009

Employee Free Choice Act Revisited

The union benefactors of Obama and the socialist Democrat Party want nothing more than passage of the Employee Free Choice Act, also known as Card Check. Opposition to this tauntingly misnamed legislation has been strong enough that it appears unlikely to pass without some compromised revision. As written, not only is secret ballot voting by employees no longer required or even likely to occur in most cases, but there is an important requirement that any failures of the union and company management to come to an agreement on a union labor contract will be settled by a federal arbitrator within 120 days of the union winning an election to represent the company employees.

There is now fear that this arbitration power will be used to force newly unionized workers to take on pension plan coverage with already existing union multi-employer pension plans. An editorial in the Washington Examiner discusses this. It gives some very interesting information on how badly funded these pension plans are. It notes that:
Pensions for nearly half of the nation's 20 largest unions are classified as either "endangered" or in "critical" condition due to underfunding, according to federal actuarial reports. Pensions with less than 80 percent of the assets needed to cover present and projected liabilities are considered "endangered," while those below 65 percent are classified as "critical" under the Pension Protection Act of 2006. The average union pension has resources to cover only 62 percent of what is owed to participants, according to the government-backed Pension Benefit Guarantee Corp. (PBGC). Less than one in 160 workers is presently covered by a properly funded union pension plan. Failed pension plans are bailed out by the PBGC.
It appears that getting more union members into these underfunded pension plans is to be used to improve the likelihood that these critically underfunded pension plans will either be paid up by additional companies forced into them or by the taxpayers through the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corp.

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