Card Check: But What Does It Do? (We Ask Again)

By April 30, 2008Labor Unions

Harold Meyerson, the Washington Post’s most socialistic op-ed columnist, writes a piece today, “Landing the White Whale,” on the necessity of Democratic politicians winning white, male, working-class voters to have any hope of gaining the presidency. How to achieve that goal? Reunionize!

For decades, as union membership declined from 35 percent of the workforce in the mid-1950s to 12 percent today (7.5 percent in the private sector), Democrats stood by and failed to strengthen workers’ rights to organize. By the late ’90s, John Sweeney’s AFL-CIO had impressed upon Democrats that their inaction amounted to slow-motion suicide. Today, the party is united behind the Employee Free Choice Act, which, by enabling workers to join unions again without fear of being fired, would also greatly help Democratic prospects at the polls.

What is it, again, that card check, i.e., the Employee Free Choice Act does? It enables workers to join unions again without fear of being fired? Really? How?

We suggest an alternative formulation: “[The] Employee Free Choice Act, which by destroying secret ballot elections in the workplace, would enable labor organizers to pressure and intimidate workers into joining a union against their will, effectively using anti-democratic means to expand the ranks and warchests of organized labor.” But as we’ve noted repeatedly, card-check’s supporters don’t want to deal with the odious details.

To his credit, Meyerson’s column is otherwise bluntly honest: Card check is nothing more than a politically motivated mechanism to push a labor and partisan agenda.

Leave a Reply