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|Why Mediation & Arbitration Rules are Needed|
The Employee Free Choice Act provides that either employers or employees may request mediation of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS) if no agreement on a first contract has been reached after 90 days of bargaining. If the FMCS is unable to bring the parties to agreement after 30 days of mediation, the dispute must be referred to binding arbitration.
First contract mediation and arbitration is necessary because management can hinder employee free choice by refusing to bargain. Even when employees surmount the many obstacles to forming a union, management frequently denies them the benefits of collective bargaining by refusing to agree on a first contract.
First contract mediation and arbitration is needed because
current law provides no effective remedies against management's refusal
to bargain. Management understands that it can get away with
suppressing employees' collective bargaining rights through bad faith
or surface bargaining because there is virtually no legal deterrent.
First contract mediation and arbitration has been successful in Canada. Labor laws in the Canadian provinces of Manitoba, British Columbia, Ontario, Quebec, Newfoundland, Saskatchewan, and the federal jurisdiction all provide for first contract mediation and binding arbitration.
2 John Logan, "Consultants, Lawyers and the 'Union Free' Movement in the USA Since the 1970s," Industrial Relations Journal, vol. 33, no. 3, 2002.
3 Human Rights Watch, "Unfair Advantage: Workers' Freedom of Association in the United States Under International Human Rights Standards," 2000.
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|Employee Free Choice Act|
|Allies Taking Action|
A growing, bipartisan coalition of policymakers supports the Employee Free Choice Act, federal legislation that would ensure workers have a free choice and a fair chance to form a union.
32%of workers lack a collective bargaining agreement one year after voting for union representation, due to weak labor law enabling employers to avoid bargaining with employees.