Card Check: A Rally and Introduction and the Big Lie Technique

By February 2, 2009Economy, Labor Unions

We’re hearing through the grapevine that the union front group, American Rights at Work, is organizing a rally at the Capitol for Wednesday to promote the anti-democratic Employee Free Choice Act. The rally could signal introduction of the bill; Rep. George Miller (D-CA) recently sent out a “Dear Colleague” letter soliciting cosponsors.

American Rights at Work launched a big ad campaign Sunday (video, newspaper) attacking employers as evil and exploitative and again using the Big Lie technique of claiming the Employee Free Choice Act doesn’t eliminate the secret ballot in union elections.

In some abstract, theoretical world, maybe, but in the real world of the workplace and union organizing, of course the legislation eliminates the secret ballot. Organized labor is playing workers and the public for idiots.

Labor claims that the secret ballot still exists because unions could ask for an election after collecting signatures from 30 percent of a workplace’s employees. Once you reach 50 percent (plus one), card check calls for immediate representation without an election, but between 30 and 50 percent it’s still possible.


James Sherk of the Heritage Foundation explains the falsehoods behind the claims in this background memo, “Employee Free Choice Act Effectively Eliminates Secret Ballot Organizing Elections”:

[Unions] do not file for an election with cards signed by only 30 to 50 percent of workers. Rather, they only file for an election when they have a superma­jority of cards because workers who sign in front of an organizer often vote “No” in the privacy of the voting booth.[14] Internal union studies show that the union does not have even odds of winning an election until 75 percent of employees sign cards.[15] Unions will not go to the polls without majority support because they know they are unlikely to win and, if they lose, federal law bars them from calling for another election for a year.[16]

Under EFCA, once cards have been obtained from a majority of workers, unions would not file for an election. In fact, EFCA specifically bars the NLRB from conducting an election if the union turns in cards from a majority of workers. Union organizers’ jobs are to recruit new union members to pay 1 to 2 percent of their wages as dues to the union. They are not paid to give workers a chance to rethink the wisdom of union membership.

The American Rights at Work advertising campaigns follows a flood of letters-to-the-editor making the same preposterous claim that secret ballots will be preserved. We think two political dynamics are at work:

1. The public understands the importance of a secret ballot; polling shows overwhelming opposition to the destruction of secret-ballot elections.

2. Labor wants to intimidate questioning about secret ballots. Such a rabid anti-business ad campaign will certainly be noticed by the media, and the bullying tactics could well have a chilling effect. “How dare you ask that question? You’re a business stooge!”

Labor is running a profoundly dishonest campaign to pass a bill that cannot pass on its merits. In the process, they’re encouraging a political atmosphere that demonizes employers just when America needs jobs the most.

Ugly stuff.

Join the discussion 2 Comments

  • […] even more butt to the scuttle about the Employee Free Choice Act being introduced Wednesday (see earlier post), we see that Rep. George Miller’s request for orginal cosponsors now sets Tuesday, February […]

  • Raoul Duke says:

    Citing the Heritage Foundation as a source does not help your argument considering Heritage’s reputation as ” home to some of the nation’s most influential neo-conservative voices” and funding which comes from the big business / corporations whose CEOS stand to lose their bonuses if the EFCA passes..

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