Card Check: A Thumb on the Scales of Democracy

By February 13, 2007Briefly Legal

Blogger-in-Chief Pat Cleary has a new column out in “Human Events” explaining the anti-democratic deceptions involved in labor’s push for “card check” legislation. The bill — H.R. 800, the Employee Free Choice Act — would permit unions to replace secret ballots with coercion in the effort to organize workplaces. Pat’s column is an excellent primer on how union organizing works and its relationship to the National Labor Relations Board’s responsibilities.

As usual, the unions are pushing their anti-democratic agenda in various venues at the same time, including Colorado. To his great credit, new Democratic Governor Bill Ritter has vetoed a labor-backed measure to eliminate employee elections. The Examiner takes note of his gutsy move in this editorial today, suggesting Congress follow Ritter’s example.

Rep. George Miller, D-Calif., is both chairman of the Education and Labor Committee and the main sponsor of the Employee Free Choice Act. Miller’s committee held a one-day hearing on the bill last week and announced yesterday that it will vote on the proposal tomorrow. In other words, like their Colorado compatriots, House Democrats here are trying to rush through a bad bill favored by Big Labor. It will surprise no one to discover that 64 percent of Miller’s 2006 campaign contributions came from labor, according to OpenSecrets.org.

To Miller’s credit, he didn’t completely slant the testimony of last week’s hearing on H.R. 800. Speaking on one panel was Jennifer Jason, a former UNITE employee who quit the job as a union organizer because of UNITE’s manipulations. From her statement:

If someone told me that she was perfectly contented at work, enjoyed her job and liked her boss, I would look around her house and ask questions based on what I noticed: “I bet on your salary, you’ll never be able to get your house remodeled,” or, “so does the company pay for day care?” These were questions to which I knew the answer and could use to make her feel that she was cheated by her boss. Five minutes earlier she had just told me that she was feeling good about her work situation.

Frankly, it isn’t difficult to agitate someone in a short period of time, work them up to the point where they are feeling very upset, tell them that I have the solution, and that if they simply sign a card, the union will solve all of their problems. I know many workers who later, upon reflection, knew that they had been manipulated and asked for their card to be returned to them. The union’s strategy, of course, was never to return or destroy such cards, but to include them in the official count towards the majority. This is why it is imperative that workers have the time and the space to make a reasoned decision based on the facts and their true feelings.

Indeed. Markup on H.R. 800 is scheduled for Wednesday at 1:30 p.m. You can step up for democracy by making your thoughts about the bill known to your Member of Congress. Just click here and fill out the online form.

Join the discussion 2 Comments

  • jim says:

    Corporations should beg for a card check process as found in most western industrialized nations (Canada, Europe, et al). With no fair recourse under an election process, American workers will be forced to organized by the only means left—striking. I welcome “Ms” Jason to debate this issue on a nearby picket line. SCAB

  • Peter says:

    Jen Jason is a smart individual. I have to hand it to “her.”

    $225,000 to become a union-avoidance consultant? I would have done the same too. If I was a sell-out.