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August 10, 2011

Question For Mickey Kaus

In today's post, as in many before, he points to the particulars of the NLRB Act and the Wagnerism-style unionism it creates/endorses/promotes.

Kaus' problem seems to be with the specifics of Wagnerism. If I have this right, Wagner-style unionism promotes workers deliberately thwarting companies' efforts to be more efficient and productive. I think Wagner-style unionism is set up so that virtually any changes made to workers' responsibilities -- say, moving a guy from job A to job B-- results in a grievance.

The unions then attempt to leverage these grievances into pecuniary concessions, so that companies tend to just give up on efficiency, because efficiency is now too expensive and hence inefficient.

Here's my question then:

What would a model trade union bill look like, then? And more importantly: Can such a model bill be passed to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the Wagner union bill, so that workers will have a choice of which type of union to pursue?

I assume we cannot overturn Wagner, so instead I ask: If there were a second option, a second pathway for would-be unionists to choose, would that be possible, or workable? And what would that look like?

For if Kaus is right that it is less unions in the abstract than Wagner-style unions in the particular that are hurting companies (and hence, perversely, union employees who are supposed to be benefited), would some alternate method of unionization help cure that?


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posted by Ace at 01:53 PM

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