Card Check: Rig the Vote, Get More Members

By October 25, 2007Labor Unions

In a well-reported article on Change to Win’s record since the group of unions broke away from the AFL-CIO, the hard-left publication, “In These Times,” includes comments from Andy Stern, president of the Service Employee International Union. From “Has the Change Led to Wins?

Change to Win still sees explosive growth on labor’s horizon. At the federation’s second convention, held in Chicago in late September, SEIU President Andy Stern reminded delegates that the labor movement grew by 1 million members a year for five years after Congress passed the National Labor Relations Act in 1935, tripling the share of the workforce in unions. “We’re at the beginning of another historic moment,” he told delegates. “We have changed our unions. If we pass the Employee Free Choice Act, these unions will grow by 1.5 million members a year, not just for five years but for 10 to 15 straight years.”

Union membership in 2006 was 15.5 million, about 12 percent of the U.S workforce (only 7.4 percent of the private sector).

And an increase of 1.5 million members annually over 15 years equals 22.5 million new union members, for a total membership of 38 million — far more than doubling current membership.

Probably that’s just braggadocio, but still…awfully high hopes. Has the case for union membership become twice as compelling? There are a lot of UAW employees who have their doubts.

Stern and his brothers are counting on a single change in the law, a process change, to completely turn labor’s fate around. And by eliminating private-ballot elections, the Employee Free Choice Act does indeed represents dramatic reordering of the voting process, one that effectively eliminates that option of saying, “No, I don’t want to join this union.”

For union leaders like Andy Stern, replacing workers’ democratic choice with brute intimidation is apparently an acceptable step on the road to doubling union membership.

(Hat tip: Bret at

Join the discussion One Comment

  • Stern Owes John Sweeney an apology…

    Remember, the whole power play in breaking up the AFL-CIO was the alleged frustration that Stern had with Sweeney over how best to utilize the federation’s money–Sweeney likes spending money on politicians, while Stern felt the money would be better spent on organizing.

    Well, as of November ’06, it looks like Sweeney’s strategy has won the day. The old labor boss has gotten himself a liberal and labor-friendly Congress. And, today, all nine of the Democrat candidates are so busy trying to out do each other on getting union endorsements that they’ve completely left any semblance of moderation behind.

    In order to pass EFCA, unions will need their political puppets to do it…And you can’t get a political puppet without buying one.

    So, it appears old John was right and Andy was w-w-w-wrong…

Leave a Reply