The largest law-enforcement labor organization in the country has expressed its strong opposition to the card-check legislation the House is scheduled to vote on Thursday. In a letter to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, FOP National President Chuck Canterbury urged Congress to protect the rights of the American worker by rejecting H.R. 800, the Employee Free Choice Act:
This ill-named legislation attacks the very meaning of free choice. Without Federally supervised private ballot elections, our democratic process would be extremely susceptible to corruption, and the very foundation of our Republic could be undermined. This bill would do the same thing to our nation’s workers by robbing them of their privacy, power and voice in deciding who should represent and defend their rights as employees. The scheme proposed by the legislation would replace the current democratic process of secret ballots with a “card check” system that invites coercion and abuse. Under this process, the identity of workers who signed or refused to sign union organizing cards would be made public to the union organizers as well as to the worker’s employer and co-workers, leaving these individuals vulnerable to threats and intimidation from union leaders, management, or both.
Today, the most common method for determining whether or not employees want a union to represent them is a private ballot election overseen by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). The NLRB provides detailed procedures that ensure a fair election, free of fraud, where employees may cast their vote confidentially without pressure or coercion from unions, employers, or fellow employees. Indeed, law enforcement officers are uniquely susceptible to such pressure. The FOP is an organization run by law enforcement officers for law enforcement officers and without the anonymity of the secret ballot, the FOP would probably not exist today. We would be forced into competition with much larger, much richer unions, but ones without any professional law enforcement background.
UPDATE (11:05 a.m.): The National Review’s editors weigh in with this editorial, “Big Labor’s Payday.” UPDATE II (2:25 p.m.): The National Association of Retailers issues a news release opposing card check, highlighting the speed and lack of consideration with which the bill is being rushed through the House.
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