Card Check: Part of a Grand Plan?

By September 27, 2007Labor Unions

Stephen Moore of the Wall Street Journal talked to Rick Berman, the take-no-prisoners head of the Center for Union Facts, on the political dynamic in Congress over the Employee Free Choice Act, the bill that would eliminate secret-ballot union elections in the workplace. Berman makes the point that the Employee Free Choice Act is overwhelmingly unpopular with the public, making it an issue that candidates want to distance themselves from. Yet the unions are demanding support as an oath of fealty. A political dilemma ….As quoted in the WSJ’s Political Diary:

“This is a life and death issue for the unions,” Mr. Berman says. Labor Department records show that unions generally don’t even call for a workplace election unless about 70% of workers sign a card requesting one — yet unions still lose half the elections they hold at work sites, suggesting many workers feel pressured to sign the cards but vote against the union in a secret ballot when they feel safe from retribution. Mr. Berman’s group calculates that the AFL-CIO could double its membership with the new law, generating up to $5 billion in additional union dues, money that could be channeled into supporting Democrats.

If the unions prevail in their card-check powerplay, Mr. Berman predicts it would transform the Congressional dynamics and vote count on a whole litany of issues that labor cares about. “If the card check issue passes,” he argues, “it will be the death of tax cuts, school choice, budget reforms, and more.” For the left, that makes card-check sound like a political panacea. No wonder Democrats are trying to keep this all under wraps.


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