No Secret Ballot for Massachusetts — Tough Luck

By September 28, 2007Labor Unions

Rebuffed in Congress in their effort to eliminate secret-ballot elections in the workplace through the Employee Free Choice Act, organized labor has turned to the states. But, because the anti-democratic “card check” is so unpopular — people understand the threat of coercion it poses — the labor unions have limited their push, relying on their allies in the legislatures and governor’s offices. The approach means that only public employees are being deprived of the workplace ballot.

From Associated Press:

MARLBOROUGH, Mass. – Governor Deval Patrick has signed into law a bill that makes it easier for public sector employees to unionize.

The Democratic governor signed the so-called “Majority Authorization bill” before a friendly crowd at the AFL-CIO’s 50th convention celebration.

It requires employers to recognize a union without an election once more than half its work force signs union cards.

Public sector employees can now unionize through a “card check” written option instead of the elections.

Patrick says the law “is about leveling the playing field between labor and management.”

Management being, among others…Deval Patrick. “Stop me before I do something bad!”

Same thing happened in August in Oregon with the public employees.

Meanwhile, the Change to Win workers front has decided to increase its union dues to finance its political activities, charging members more so they can lose their claim to secret-ballot elections.

The 10-cent surcharge, which may raise up to $14 million over the two years, will go for education campaigns centered around politics and several issues, notably including health care and the right to organize. “The way we focus on organizing and politics is very different” from the AFL-CIO, Burger added.

The convention resolution approving the assessment, and laying out the federation’s overall plan for the next two years, says the money will be used “to build a state-of-the-art coordinated political program to ensure the election of a pro-labor president in 2008 and pro-labor majorities in the Senate and House in order to pass the Employee Free Choice Act.”

(Thanks to Laborpains.org for the info.)

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