The UFCW and Contracts

The UFCW proudly touts its democratic principles; in particular, the union points out the fact that its members get a chance to vote on all contracts the union negotiates on their behalf.1

Unfortunately for prospective members, the UFCW also supports the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA).2 One of the key provisions of EFCA is binding interest arbitration. Under this proposal, a government appointed arbitrator would be empowered to dictate contract terms to workers and employers. Those terms would then be binding for two years.3

An unfortunate consequence of binding interest arbitration is that workers would lose the right to vote to ratify contracts. Since the arbitrator’s decision would be binding, and there are no provisions for appeal, workers would be denied the chance to hold their union accountable.4

So much for workers’ rights and their ability to vote on a contract.


1http://www.ufcw.org/organizing/how_we_work/index.cfm, UFCW Web site, Accessed 11/30/09
2http://www.ufcw.org/issues/right_to_organize/index.cfm, UFCW Web site, Accessed 11/30/09
3S. 560, The Employee Free Choice Act, 111th Congress
4Editorial, “Bad check; Employee Free Choice Act Would Harm Employers, Employees And Economy,” Columbus Dispatch, 3/30/09