The NAM’s weekly radio program, “America’s Business” featured a spirited debate on the topic of card-check legislation between David Keene, chairman of the American Conservative Union, and Jonathan Tasini, executive director of the Labor Research Association.
H.R. 800, the purposely misnamed Employee Free Choice Act, would give labor unions the ability to prevent secret-ballot elections when trying to organize a workplace, replacing the confidential voting process with a public system of signing up employees via signature cards.
Tasini favors the legislation, which recently passed the House, as a way to overcome what he claims is rampant employer intimidation. Tasini:
Well, I think to be frank, the current situation of union organizing is really akin to military dictatorships. If you talk about the idea of a secret ballot, I can show you many military dictatorships where people, quote-unquote, cast ballots in a secret ballot, or put a piece of paper in a box, under the threat of violence or of force.
Keene was taken aback at the comparison of employers to dictators and fiercely defended the secret ballot as a hallmark of democracy. Keene:
The fact of the matter is, to argue against the concept of a free election in which people cast a secret ballot, strikes me as absurd for anybody who believes in the concept of democracy, either national democracy or union democracy.
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