Card Check: Oh, No — No Reason to Fear Intimidation

By August 22, 2008Labor Unions

An e-mail to blogger Jon Henke from an attendee at a business event in Portland, Maine, an educational effort sponsored by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to explain the realities of the Employee Free Choice Act.

I just came from a press conference held by the US Chamber of Commerce in conjunction with the Maine State Chamber of Commerce.  It was held in Portland and dealt with the EFCA [Employee Free Choice Act – i.e., Card Check].   …

After the news conference we went on the US Chambers special bus to Monument Square in the center of Portland.  There were at least 75 union members holding a protest rally against the Chamber and in support of the EFCA.  The interesting thing is the protest was organized by the Maine Democratic Party.

There were about 15 of us on the bus and nobody wanted to get off, so I led the way.  We were heckled, swore at, and called some names. One of the young ladies from the chamber tried to set up some tables and put leaflets and information on it and the protesters kicked the tables over on the lady who was not hurt. 

Well, the scene from the TV report shows some dope in a wheelchair tipping over a table, which doesn’t quite amount to thuggery, but the union harassment of citizens expressing their First Amendment rights is certainly on full display. Guess the First Amendment is not a concern for union organizers.

Meanwhile, the unions and, alas, even Rep. Tom Allen (D-ME), running against Sen. Susan Collins, continue to pretend that card check legislation will not do away with the secret ballot. From AP coverage of the event:

Allen said the bill “does not eliminate a secret ballot but simply creates an alternative procedure for working people to organize for better benefits and pay. Under the current laws, the employers decide when and if an election can be held. They often delay those elections for years and in many cases the election is never held at all.”

This is just not the case, and advocates of card check know it’s not the case. Justin Wilson at this week had a good column explaining the falsehoods behind the claim that card check is just an alternative system, one that still allows secret ballot elections. From the “30-50 Myth“:

While there may be some mention of elections remaining in the legislation, they will become the appendix of union organizational campaigns—there, but an unused vestige of days gone by.

Frankly, it defies logic—and I’m going to give union leaders the benefit of the doubt here—to suggest that a union that is incapable of getting cards from 50% of the employees would go to an election where they expect an additional 25% fall off. In fact, the AFL-CIO admitted that “It is not until the union obtains signatures from 75% or more of the unit that the union has more than a 50% likelihood of winning the election.”

What union organizer would risk losing an election—and thus being barred from redoubling his or her efforts to unionize the company—with less than a majority of employees’ signed cards? None.

Don’t believe the opponents of card check? Well, then, how about the administrative law judge in Minnesota who rejected a partisan complaint against ads that said card check would eliminate the secret ballot?

Harassment, falsehood and legal attacks against the First Amendment — the modus operandi of those who support card check. Pass the Employee Free Choice Act and bring that ugliness to the workplace near you.

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