Monday, March 02, 2009

‘Card check’ for unionizing gets scholarly OK

A group of Catholic scholars “committed to Catholic social teaching concerning the human rights of workers to organize employee unions” is pressing for the adoption of the Employee Free Choice Act.

“Badly broken” is how the group calls “the present legal and moral framework” that is supposed to safeguard freedom of association for American workers. In a statement that invites others to sign, the Catholic Scholars for Worker Justice praises the Employee Free Choice act as “rooted in and supported by Catholic Social Teaching.”

The statement summarizes three features of the proposed legislation, which is being reintroduced in the Congress after being adopted in the House and getting bogged down in the Senate last year:

1. Recognizing the right of workers to form a union through filing signed cards (known as “card check”) that state their decision to form a union.
2. Mandating mediation and arbitration if a first contract cannot be negotiate within the fist 90 days.
3. Imposing stronger penalties on firms that violate worker rights.

“Workers can also choose a secret ballot election if that is their choice,” the statement ads.

A longer expression of support for worker rights is contained in a policy paper adopted when the Catholic Scholars group was founded in mid-2008.

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