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Labor Working For Employee Free Choice Act

Publication Date: 
November 16, 2008
San Francisco Chronicle
George Raine

Professor William B. Gould IV is quoted in the San Francisco Chronicle in an article about the improved prospects during an Obama Presidency for Labor to achieve its top legislative priority, i.e. that a bill that would make organizing workers substantially easier will be passed and signed:

"I agree with them, there's been a series of one-sided rulings by this Bush board" that has also acted slowly in resolving elections that determine union representation and charges of unfair labor practices brought by employees, said William B. Gould IV, a Stanford University emeritus law professor who was chairman of the NLRB during President Bill Clinton's time in office, from 1994 to 1998.

"These delays make it too easy for employers to intimidate and coerce workers, including dismissing them for organizing," said Gould. "And this in turn diminishes employee interest in unions and thus undercuts the right to collective bargaining they are supposed to enjoy," he added.

Still, Gould says "secret ballots to resolve union representation rights are the way to go," adding that Obama should meet Republicans halfway on bipartisan common ground. In his view, Obama should stay with the secret ballot election with an important coda - that elections should continue quickly after a union's petition seeking recognition is filed, within one or two weeks.

"Quick elections are the key to meaningful reform because delay is the principal way in which labor law stacks the deck against employees," said Gould.