Card Check…Organized Labor Shining Us On

By July 23, 2008Labor Unions

The most-common misleading response from organized labor to the criticism that the Employee Free Choice Act will destroy the secret ballot in the workplace goes like…well, here’s a recent example. It comes from Bill McCarthy, president of the Minneapolis Regional Labor Federation.

In attacking the EFCA, opponents distort the facts and charge that the legislation would end secret ballot elections in union organizing drives. Not true.

The foundation of modern labor law, the Wagner Act of 1935, provided a path to union recognition when a majority of workers in a workplace signed union authorization cards — simple and fair.

When labor adversaries passed the Taft-Hartley Act in 1947 over President Truman’s veto, however, employers gained the right to reject the workers’ union authorization cards and to petition the National Labor Relations Board to conduct an election to determine if a workplace should become union. ..[snip]

The EFCA would give workers, not employers, the right to decide how to express the choice about going union: through the card-check process OR through the NLRB election process.

McCarthy is playing the readers for idiots. Theoretically, oh sure, union organizers might, possibly, theoretically, choose an election, maybe. But under what possible circumstance would that be a realistic choice?

John Raudabaugh, Chicago attorney, labor expert and a former NLRB member, spoke at a Senate Republican Conference meeting on Monday devoted to the Employee Free Choice Act. He told Senators:

Labor wants card-check with 50+ percent yield to bypass but equate to the ballot box process. Why? To effectively silence the employer by conducting a quick, one-sided campaign without counter-information from the employer. Moreover, without the ballot-box, there is effectively no cure to overreaching and false Labor promises.

Labor and its funded academics ignore Taft-Hartley specifically protecting a worker’s right to refrain from third-party representation. Were the union to come up short of 50+ percent signed cards, would it really proceed to file a petition for an election? No, the secret ballot would not remain a real option under the EFCA proposal.

The real option, the REAL WORLD option, will be for labor to ratchet up the pressure and intimidation on employees until the organizers reach the 50-percent-plus-one required signatures.  

Both Raudabaugh and the Heritage Foundation’s labor fellow, James Sherk, gave excellent statements at the Senate session explaining current law and dissecting labor’s falsehoods. (Raudabaugh; Sherk.)

The details are important, which explains why labor shies from away from them in making the case for card check. The advocates prefer soundbites and platitudes — “It evens the playing field,” or “It restores the balance” or, “It doesn’t eliminate the secret ballot.”

Which warrants a snort and retort, “Do you think we’re idiots?”

 

 

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