Editorials Opposing Card Check

By March 1, 2007Labor Unions

UPDATE (12:05 p.m.): Debate on H.R. 800 has just started.

The Los Angeles Times’s editorialists, with a usually reliable pro-union voice, declare the paper’s opposition to H.R. 800, the card-check legislation.

Unions once supported the secret ballot for organization elections. They were right then and are wrong now. Unions have every right to a fair hearing, and the National Labor Relations Board should be more vigilant about attempts by employers to game the system. In the end, however, whether to unionize is up to the workers. A secret ballot ensures that their choice will be a free one.

The Wall Street Journal’s editorial opposition is consistent with its pro-market, pro-freedom, pro-competitiveness point of view:

Workers sign cards for all kinds of reasons, including peer pressure and intimidation. It’s not uncommon for an organizer to approach an employer with cards that show 90% of the workforce wants to unionize, only to have the percentage plummet once employees hear about the downside of a union shop and have a chance to vote by secret ballot. So Big Labor wants to dispense with these petty elections and make union recognition mandatory as soon as a simple majority of workers sign a card.

Notably, nearly every American business group is united in opposing this affront to worker freedom. They understand this will make organizing that much easier, thus making their own businesses that much less competitive. One business response would surely be to hire fewer workers–the opposite of what the unions claim to want.

The Examiner echoes the reasons cited above to urge the bill’s defeat in this editorial and also highlights the mandatory arbitration provision in the bill.

EFCA includes an obscure provision that will result in government arbitrators establishing wages and benefits in companies that can’t reach agreement with a new union after 90 days from a representation election. Such negotiations often stretch weeks beyond EFCA’s new deadline.

Do we really want government arbitrators deciding how much we should be paid and what kind of benefits we should receive? Big Labor likes the idea in great part because it frees union political operatives to spend more dues money on campaign contributions to Democrats instead of the hard work of honest negotiations for a fair deal for employees.