David Weigel, writing in the latest edition of Reason magazine, does an excellent job in describing the raw, naked, brutal and ugly politics behind organized labor’s push for the Employee Free Choice Act. He starts by letting the words of Stewart Acuff, the AFL-CIO’s director of organizing, illustrate:
“My brothers and sisters,” he said, “if we go into 2008 with an even larger mobilization of workers behind this legislation, with even more commitment to win the election in 2008, and put this on the agenda in 2009, I’m here to tell you today that we will pass this legislation, in the House, overwhelmingly! We will pass it in the Senate! We will defeat a Republican filibuster! And we will have a president who signs the Employee Free Choice Act! And we can get back to the business of restoring the American dream for millions and millions of workers!”
What’s the Employee Free Choice Act? If you aren’t a lobbyist in Washington, a union worker, or an employer nervously trying to prevent your staff from organizing, you might not have followed the twisty history of the latest attempt to increase private-sector unionization. “Card check,” as it is usually known, would allow employees at a company to bypass secret-ballot elections and declare their intent to unionize by simply signing cards. If adopted, it could portend the most revolutionary change to labor law since the 1940s.
One point we disagree on is Weigel’s description of business lobbyists watching with a sense of “resigned horror.” Not around here. We sincerely believe that once the public understands that card check means ending secret ballot elections, they’ll reject it. Certainly there’s no resignation among members of the Coalition for a Democratic Workplace — including the NAM — who are assiduously working to point out the legislation’s hostility to American democratic principles.
That said, read the whole thing. An informed electorate needs more of this kind of reporting.
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