McAfee & Taft labor and employment attorney Charlie Plumb was featured in The Oklahoman discussing legislation aimed at making it easier for unions to organize employees. This development along with other factors are leading to a favorable environment for unprecedented organizing activity.
Originally proposed by congress in 2009, the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) was designed to help facilitate the unionizing of companies. "Presently, EFCA is dead in the water, although the Senate is discussing potential compromises and changes in the proposed law that could attract 60 votes and lead to eventual enactment," said Plumb.
The current condition of the economy, as well as the increasingly pro-labor National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), should also concern employers. Unions are quick to exploit the increase in employee dissatisfaction and insecurity that is common in tough economic times. Also, with more than 700,000 union members falling victim to layoffs and business closings in 2009, unions are looking to attract new dues-paying members and plan to focus on young workers.
Plumb said that Oklahoma employers should be proactive if they don't want to become unionized. "Typically, unions target employers who are the easiest to unionize – don't be 'the low hanging fruit'," advises Plumb.
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