Professor's logic shows serious disconnect from reality

May 26, 2009
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Editor,

I needed to do a double take on the logic employed by Wayne State University professor David Reynolds in the Business Journal’s May 11 story (‘Free choice’ proposal spurs debate on unions) on the misleadingly named Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA).

The story said professor Reynolds “doesn’t see why anyone wouldn’t want to join a union.” Apparently in Reynolds’ make-believe world, everyone in a union gets better pay and benefits along with lifetime job security.

Unfortunately, contrary realities intrude in the real world — realities the professor might want to consider before he teaches another class in labor studies.

Inflexible union work rules, adversarial work environments and non-competitive pay scales encourage employers to close their doors and move their operations to more competitive locales.

When companies shut down, the people are left behind, and they find themselves abandoned by a union that has already moved on to the next organizing opportunity.

Individual talent, initiative and contributions are buried by lockstep collective agreements, and poor work performance becomes protected activity.

Billions of dollars in union dues are siphoned off for political and other purposes that have nothing to do with serving union members.

Perhaps professor Reynolds could consider those for starters, and if he needs more he can give me a call. The EFCA is a bad piece of legislation because it violates basic democratic principles, removes labor incentives for good-faith bargaining and positions government bureaucrats to set wages and benefits.  No amount of obfuscation can change those basic facts or bring legitimacy to this deeply flawed bill.


Randy Boileau
Executive Director
West Michigan Works

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