Card Check: A Great Bill! Don’t Talk About It!

By May 16, 2007Labor Unions

We have a new piece over at The Hill’s Congress Blog on the mendaciously named Employee Free Choice Act.

A funny thing about the supporters of the Employee Free Choice Act, the finest piece of legislative misnaming in recent memory: They almost never say what the bill actually does.

Labor and their allies promise the bill will achieve social justice, increased wages, better health care, generous pensions and everything short of a picnic atop the Big Rock Candy Mountain, but they never get around to explaining the mechanism for achieving these wonders.

A reasonable strategy, given the bill’s substance — a frontal attack on the democratic right of employees. Employees would lose the ability to vote on union representation through the secret ballot, which now serves to insulate them from coercion by labor organizers. Quickly imposed binding arbitration would eliminate the opportunity for workers to deal with their employers on an individual, one-on-one basis, while turning over the human resources department to an unpredictable third party.

Ugly bill, ugly provisions — No wonder supporters are loathe to get down to specifics. Polling shows that if the public understands the bill, they reject it.

Elsewhere on the card-check front, Richard Hankins at EFCAUpdates comments on a story that reports that labor is now holding out a possible “compromise“:

Peter Aust, president and chief executive of the Chamber of Southern Saratoga County, said he didn’t support the bill, but that one compromise might be to exempt businesses with fewer than 100 employees. The current bill exempts employers with fewer than 25 workers.

Some compromise. We won’t deprive quite as many people of their right to a secret ballot.

UPDATE (9:40 a.m.): Interesting article at The Hill talking about the campaign/contributions angle of the Employee Free Choice Act. Principle and politics intersect at a cash nexus? Something like that.

“My PAC won’t give money to anyone who’s voting for this bill,” said Jade West, senior vice president of the National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors (NAW).

Other business groups are less categorical, but they still make it clear that they will look seriously at EFCA votes when making decisions on endorsements and campaign contributions.

Stopping EFCA is the top legislative priority for the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC), according to the group’s senior director of legislative affairs, Danielle Ringwood. “ABC members would probably have a very hard time supporting candidates who aren’t in line with our views,” Ringwood said.