Unions Paying Bounty for Signed Cards

By February 27, 2007Labor Unions

The plot thickens. Someone sent ’round this flyer from the United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW) touting their “Organizing Incentive Program.” It’s not great quality, but scroll down to the bottom and you’ll get the idea: They are paying a bounty to organizers to come up with signed cards — $10 per card “at the successful conclusion of a card check.”

Don’t believe for a second that this process of collecting cards isn’t an intimidating one. The union organizers accost employees face-to-face — often in their homes — and lean on them until they sign the cards. Because many employees feel intimidated, they just sign the cards. But when election day comes, in the privacy of a secret ballot, they don’t vote for the union.

NAM President John Engler made a great point on Larry Kudlow’s CNBC show last night: He said this bill is a metaphor for what’s wrong with the card check process in that a good number of these 230+ Congressional co-sponsors would never support this bill if there were a secret ballot election. They tell us all too often that they’re supporting it, but they have to, you understand — because it’s organized labor’s No. 1 priority and they won’t get any more, uh, $upport from the union$ if they don’t $pon$or the bill. Get it?

If this bill becomes law, watch the bounty rise on those signed cards, and watch the intimidation run amok. For our part, we continue to prefer elections, the only fair way to sort it all out — unless you’re consistently losing, in which case you wanna change the rules.

UPDATE (By Carter Wood, 9:20 a.m.): Video of the “card-check” segment on last night’s Kudlow show is available online here. NAM President John Engler debates the topic with Jared Bernstein of the labor-backed Economic Policy Institute.

Former GE President and CEO Jack Welch speaks on the topic in the preceding segment (video available here), saying, “This is about the worst thing I’ve seen in the last 25 years.” Automatic unionization through card-check would return America to the lumbering economy of the ’70s, Welch said. “This is not about wages, this is not about health care, this is about productivity. This is about having a productive society where people get good wages, good benefits, but compete effectively in a good economy.”