More Reading on Card Check: The Reaction

By March 2, 2007Labor Unions

Statement by Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao: “It is a sad day for our country when the U.S. House of Representatives votes to deprive workers of their basic right to a private ballot election.”

Floor speech by House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-OH.

Statement by Congressman Roy Blunt, R-MO, the House Minority Whip.

Statement by Congressman Buck McKeon, R-CA, the ranking member of the House Education and Labor Committee.

Investor’s Business Daily editorial: Forced To Join

Examiner op-ed, by a New Republic writer, James Kirchik: Big Labor abandons its democratic heritage.

Kirchik’s column addresses a point that has escaped much attention. Big labor’s thralls yesterday kept talking about “leveling the playing field,” but what that really means is eliminating the rights of employers to express their opposition to being unionized or to take their case to their employees. Kirchik:

Unions have trotted out statistics that, once faced with a union election, 80 percent of companies hire management-consulting firms to help them dissuade workers from unionizing, and that 90 percent hold compulsory, one-on-one meetings where managers tell workers not to vote for a union.

As aggressive as these tactics may be, they hardly constitute the “harassment” that workers experience at the hands of union organizers. Moreover, management — which hires individuals at its pleasure — has just as much of a right to make its views about unionization known to its workforce as does labor.

The “neutrality” component of the bill, which compels management essentially to keep its mouths shut on reasons why a union may have a negative effect on the business and its workers, completely silences one side in what should be a vigorous debate.

Kirchik closes with a simple question: “So there’s one question we ought to ask union leaders this week: what do you have against the secret ballot?”

UPDATE (10:15 a.m.): Statement and video release by House Chief Deputy Minority Whip Eric Cantor, R-VA.

Column by National Review’s editor, Rich Lowry: Secure the Secrecy — Big Labor vs. freedom and fairness

The House vote is a vindication for the strategy of [AFL-CIO leader John] Sweeney, who, against the advice of union leaders who want to spend more on organizing, has insisted on continuing to bankroll the Democrats. His insight is that trying to unionize workers basically is hopeless without more Democrats in office to tip the playing field in the unions’ favor. Hence the raw power play in employer-union relations on the House floor (thankfully the Senate is unlikely to go along).