October 1, 2022

AB 257: Another Antieconomic California Boondoggle

Not satisfied with putting thousands of individuals out of work with its infamous ABDOMINAL 5 legislation, California lawmakers now are going after fast-food businesses

After directly failing to make it through the Ca Assembly last year, AB 257 has been put back on the Sacramento agenda this year.

Backers— unions and their Democrat operatives— think they can succeed on this occasion. Now crunch time for this hypothesis is approaching, since the bill passed the state senate’s Labor, Public Employment and Retirement Committee in 06 and is scheduled to be regarded by the California Senate Appropriations Committee on August 11, then voted on quickly thereafter.

ABS 257 was named the particular Fast Food Accountability and Requirements Recovery Act ( FAST Act ), as if it would lead to faster economic recovery, rather than the reverse.   Jackie Botts and Jesse Bedayn   more accurately known as it something very different— “ a radical proposal” that would “ allow the state to negotiate wages, hrs and work conditions for an entire industry. ”

FAST would create a government-appointed state council (as well as local councils) to set standards for all types of employment issues in the fast-food industry, as well as extend culpability for compliance to franchisors rather than just franchisees. They are major union wish-list items which would enable forced unionization of the industry. It would affect fast food restaurant chains along with at least thirty franchises.

Despite Democrats’ plus unions’ claims that the expenses is a proworker means of addressing inequality by raising wages and improving working circumstances, such claims deserve serious suspicion that this is just one in a long line of examples where “ AB” represents “ another boondoggle. ”

First, ask what California’s governments have done well enough in recent memory to justify turning a whole sector of the economy over to them. I can’t think of anything at all. Instead, our state has generated a notorious reputation designed for high taxes and pricey regulations producing unsatisfactory results. And in many areas, it has utterly failed at protecting Californians from assault and their property from crime, which is the government’s core functionality. That is a far cry through justifying expanding its reach further.

2nd, remember that California politics is basically dictated by unions. These are the only reason the state imposes project labor agreements, which usually saddle citizens with increased costs to transfer prosperity to unions. Unions are the reason for Davis-Bacon Act limitations at the federal level plus similar ones at the state level that also exist to benefit unions by restricting everyone else. They are the true reason for restrictions on the rideshare industry. They are the primary inspiration for protectionist legislation that harms most Americans. The only real reason unions are attempting to dominate the fast food industry is that despite being given a host of special privileges and unique advantages, unions have been lost at unionizing many fast food workers.

Which makes it crucial to understand that unions’ primary efforts— trying to increase their members’ compensation— harm rather than assist the vast majority of Americans as each workers and consumers. Unions artificially force up the price of hiring their workers, and the resulting price increases damage consumers. The number of such tasks available is also reduced, because consumers will buy much less at those higher costs.

The reduced number of such jobs, consequently, pushes workers into unemployment or into competition regarding nonunion jobs, pushing lower compensation for everyone in individuals markets. Hurting consumers and most workers, while insisting that will unions do the opposite, will not justify expanding union control of labor markets.

Third, we should understand how substantial unions’ special privileges and advantages already are. They range between strike powers to exemptions from antitrust laws in order to exemptions from liability to get member violence (due in order to the  Enmons   ruling). (Unions power special government-granted powers, permitting current workers to prevent competition from others willing to the actual same work for less, a type of collusion that any company would be legally prosecuted intended for. )

The Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO)  Act , a significant Biden administration initiative to do unions’ bidding, would provide a lot more unique advantages. It would repeal right to work laws that protect workers from having to join a union or even pay union dues. PROFESSIONAL would require employers to provide private employee information (e. g., cell phone numbers, email addresses, and work schedules) to partnership organizers, violating the associational rights of those who shouldn’t want to be approached or hectored by unions.

It would allow unions to initiate snap elections in nonunion workplaces more rapidly, restricting opponents’ ability to present opposition positions. It would codify “ card check” elections, getting rid of the protections against coercion that a secret ballot provides. It would let the National Work Relations Board invalidate a vote against unionization to get anything it decides represents “ employer interference. ” It would require contractors plus franchisees to bargain with unions, outlaw employment arbitration clauses, authorize “ supplementary boycotts” by unions towards companies maintaining a business romantic relationship with a target company, and more.

Fourth, we ought to carefully consider the chasm in between unions’ freedom-of-association claims and reality. Unions trumpet freedom of association to justify their existence. But they deny many Americans of their associational freedoms. As the Supreme Court found in the  Janus   case, unions already inflict a “ significant impingement on associational freedoms that would not be tolerated in other contexts. ”

Union “ rights” take away workers’ freedom in order to associate with a different union, to select alternative forms of group rendering, such as voluntary unions, in order to represent themselves in discussions with employers, and to associate with nonunion employers. Workers’ freedom to resolve workplace issues straight with employers faces a similar fate, forcing such plans to be made exclusively through unions. Union association “ rights” also take away employers’ freedom to not associate with them or to employ only nonunion workers. They take away customers’ freedom to associate with cheaper, nonunion producers. That is, the freedom of association unions claim is their explanation is really a special privilege that is to be denied to other people.

Unions also violate their own members’ associational freedom. As James Sherk has  documented , not a single current worker in many unions ever voted to select that union, plus vanishingly few current employees voted for them in other instances. That is because once a majority of an employer’s workers in a given time votes to certify a particular union, it becomes the monopoly negotiator for those its workers. No further elections need ever be held, and attempts to force them are strewn along with roadblocks.

5th, ask why AB 257 would only apply to businesses with thirty or more franchises. That makes sense if the goal is to impose extra burdens on large corporate franchisors to leverage them directly into unionizing their workforces. But it does not make sense if the issue is how food workers are to be treated, the bill’s supposed rationale. Shouldn’t we be concerned with all fast food organizations?

Shouldn’t we all also be concerned with “ sluggish food” restaurants? And what regarding the fact that running such franchises is the ground floor for most, who then earn their way up the income ladder, and the fact that, as Matt Haller  notes , more than “ 60 percent of California restaurants are usually owned by people of color” (with more than 40 local and minority chambers of commerce opposing ABS 257).

6th, remember that just as unions control California politics, they plus their backers will rule the state and local QUICK councils. It will essentially end up being unions negotiating over what they want to impose on everyone in the entire fast food industry. When was the last period such a self-serving political chance benefited anyone besides all those given added dictatorial power?

There are a host of reasons for rejecting the particular FAST Act. It would increase the damage unions already enforce on consumers and employees. It would reduce fast food workers’ freedom of association towards the freedom to follow government-enforced union dictation. And the fact that so many workers in the industry have been unwilling to voluntarily unionize, regardless of the many special privileges unions have, is not a reason intended for giving unions more power to force them into it. Such coercion seldom improves the particular well-being of those being coerced.

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