Out of Control Policy Blog

Card Check's Evil Twin -- Binding Arbitration

Much of the attention in the misnamed Employee Free Choice Act has to date gone to the so-called card-check provision that would allow Big Labor to form unions without allowing workers to vote. But bad as that is, the bill's other provision -- binding arbitration -- is equally horrendous. How do I know? Because I live in Michigan which implemented binding arbitration for certain public sector employees  nearly 40 years ago. So awful have the consequences been that, today, you have to travel pretty deep into union territory to find any supporters -- liberal or conservative -- for it. As I note in the Wall Street Journal on Saturday:

"In 1969, the Wolverine State embraced a form of compulsory arbitration nearly identical to the one proposed in EFCA to resolve disputes with its police and firefighters. Years later, Detroit mayor Coleman Young -- who had authored the original law as state senator -- rued what he had done. 'We now know that compulsory arbitration has been a failure,' he lamented to the National Journal in 1981. 'Slowly, inexorably, compulsory interest arbitration has destroyed sensible fiscal management and has caused more damage to the public service than the strikes it was designed to prevent.'"

Read the rest of the column here.

Shikha Dalmia is Senior Analyst


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