Card Check: The Priority, the PR

By February 5, 2009Labor Unions

From media coverage of The Employee Free Choice Act, the manufacturing and the business community’s perspective as offered by NAM President John Engler:

Associated Press, “Labor steps up pressure on Congress for union bill“:

At the same time, more than 50 members of the National Association of Manufacturers met with lawmakers to express their concerns that the bill would “hinder manufacturers’ economic competitiveness and our ability to create jobs,” said NAM president John Engler.

Washington Post, “After Delay, Panel to Vote on Solis Nomination“:

Pressure to oppose the measure is intense, as well. “This is the most unifying issue for business right now,” said John Engler, president and chief executive of the National Association of Manufacturers.

Wall Street Journal, “Battle Heats Up Over Union-Backed Bill

The Chamber and its allies also are preparing to focus on a provision of the bill that would allow federal arbitrators to intervene in contract disputes and dictate pay and benefit terms.

“I’ve had members say they’ll sell their businesses if this becomes law,” said National Association of Manufacturers President John Engler.

The Journal story’s lead points to a fundamental problem with organized labor’s PR job on behalf of the anti-democratic Employee Free Choice Act: They don’t want to talk about what the bill actually does, only it’s goals, which they describe in the most glowing, unrealistic terms.

Union advocate Mary Beth Maxwell gets furious when people refer to the Employee Free Choice Act as the “card check” bill and imply it’s an attack on the tradition of the secret ballot.

Ms. Maxwell, executive director of American Rights at Work, says the term “card check” doesn’t reflect the bill’s true aim, which she says is to shield workers who want to join a union from intimidation by employers. “The current system is not working,” she says.

Although maybe it’s faux outrage from Maxwell, designed to lead to a faux compromise. The unions could drop the card check provisions, claiming they’re making a great sacrifice, and still wind up with a bill that allows organizers to dragoon unwilling employees into unions and forces destructive contracts onto business.

Alternatively, perhaps Maxwell is just easily infuriated.

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