Card Check: President-Elect Obama Says Not So Fast

By January 16, 2009Economy, Labor Unions

From today’s Washington Post editorial, “Mr. Obama’s Visit“:

On the Employee Free Choice Act, which would allow unions to organize by obtaining a majority of signatures from employees in a workplace rather than having to win secret-ballot elections, Mr. Obama signaled willingness to consider other mechanisms to address the concern that employers unfairly use the current process to intimidate workers not to join unions. And he seemed in no hurry to have Congress bring it up. “If we’re losing half a million jobs a month, then there are no jobs to unionize, so my focus first is on those key economic priority items,” Mr. Obama said, declining to state whether he wanted to see the issue debated during his first year in office.

“Other mechanisms” could still be onerous and damaging to the economy. We can well imagine organized labor and their allies in Congress making the grand gesture of dropping card check’s attack on the secret ballot while retaining binding arbitration and other harmful provisions.

Still, these are still encouraging comments from the President-elect as represented by the Post.

Join the discussion 3 Comments

  • […] excerpts of the Obama-Post transcript, and in our reading he does seem more favorable to EFCA than we got from the Post’s interpretation. He seems to dismiss business’ argument that card check would harm the economy out of hand. […]

  • John C says:

    There is absolutely nothing good about the EFCA. However, if I had to choose between passage of the card check provision itself or the binding arbitration portion…I would take the latter. I think Big Labor would choose the opposite.
    The reason is that if the card check provision passes we will be looking at an indefinite period of pro-union, Democrat controlled Congress. Card check would guarantee that dues-paying union membership will increase dramatically as will Big Labor’s coffers. They will spend a large portion of that war chest to make certain their buddies in Congress remain their buddies in Congress. It will be a tough formula to beat. With that scenario, they will have plenty of time to push through the other provisions.

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