Card Check: Hatch, Heritage, Facts and Fallacies

By April 23, 2007Labor Unions

Senator Orrin Hatch, R-UT, spoke Friday at the Heritage Foundation on the supercalifragilisticexpialidociously misnamed Employee Free Choice Act, i.e., the “card check” legislation that would deprive employees of the freedom of deciding in a private-ballot, uncoerced election whether to join a union or not. His entire remarks are worth reading (transcript here, and audio and video here), but we especially like the Truth and Fiction portion:

As we enter this debate we should not be fooled by the misinformation from the other side:

THEY CLAIM that employers coerce employees to vote NO on unionization . . .THE TRUTH is that in less than two percent of cases is it found that an employer has inappropriately interfered in a union organizing election.

THEY CLAIM that under the current system unions are not able to win. . .THE TRUTH is that unions won 62% of THE NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS BOARD elections in 2005 – the last year where a complete set of statistics exists.

THEY CLAIM that the use of a Card-Check system is the best, most reliable and fair way of judging employees’ true intentions of unionizing . . .THE TRUTH is that the use of a Card-Check system is an inherently unreliable indicator of an employee’s true sentiments which lead me to a few other truths on their misleading reliability claim . . .

THE TRUTH is that the card acquisition process is unregulated, meaning there is no check on potential undue influence when gathering cards;

THE TRUTH is that we have found that intimidation, coercion, and pressure tactics can be – and usually are – used to obtain signatures;

THE TRUTH is that often, bounties and financial incentives are paid to union organizers to obtain signatures on cards;

THE TRUTH is that intentional deception and misrepresentation are often used by unions when obtaining cards; and

THE TRUTH is that employees are often induced to sign cards by promises of higher pay, better benefits, and waivers of fees – of course the same employees are not made aware of the potential risks and costs of unionization.

And finally, THEY CLAIM that American workers want to form unions using a card check system. . .THE TRUTH is that according to a recent poll 79% of Americans oppose the elimination of private ballots when voting in union organizing elections.

Also at Heritage is the latest backgrounder from James Sherk and Paul Kersey, refuting one-by-one the arguments from those who would use intimidation to force themselves into the worksite. They touch on every point raised by Senator Hatch, with documentation all the way. An essential document: How the Employee Free Choice Act Takes Away Workers’ Rights.