If the Employee Free Choice Act passes and paves the way for widespread workplace organizing, many of the newest union leaders will be educated at a campus not far from Washington. Classes include labor studies, labor history and new courses on green (and organized) workplaces.
Articles by Mark Jr.
There is wide agreement in Washington, and among employers, that American workers need more education and training, but some experts say current federal proposals don’t go far enough.
The organization’s CEO says members are feeling the pain of an enfeebled economy. A new organizational structure aims to better meet their needs. Also, a fee increase and cuts in financial support to chapters were not implemented this year.
Mike Aitken, director of government affairs at the Society for Human Resource Management, keeps members informed and represents the group’s interests with legislators and the administration. It’s a key role, given that advocacy is one of SHRM’s new focus areas.
Two bills making their way through Congress illustrate starkly different ways that important employment-related legislation is being created by lawmakers.
If the right case comes along, the National Labor Relations Board could rule that a company must recognize a union formed through the card-check process.
Although Senate Democrats have reached the filibuster-proof figure of 60, some in the ranks are opposed to the Employee Free Choice Act, and there may not be 60 votes for it. Some say a key provision—union approval without a secret ballot—will be negotiated out of the bill in favor of other approaches.
Organizations including AT&T, Verizon and Kaiser Permanente have used the card-check process to let their employees join unions, but they won’t discuss it. Advocates of the Employee Free Choice Act say that big companies that use card check are staying out of the debate because of bullying by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which is leading the charge against the bill. The chamber denies that.
The Service Employees International Union is being accused of refusing to allow members to use the card-check process to defect to a rival union.
HR practitioners stressed out by delivering bad news during layoffs aren’t likely to contact the industry’s national organization for emotional support. Rather than serving as a massive employee assistance program, the Society for Human Resource Management is providing professional guidance to help manage the economic downturn.