Todays’ Wall Street Journal editorial, “Shut Up, They Said – Big Labor threatens banks on ‘card check.’”
The biggest bailout news this week wasn’t the ritual shaming of bank CEOs Wednesday on Capitol Hill. The real political cudgels were wielded in a February 10 letter that Big Labor sent to Wall and K Streets: Any business that takes a bank rescue dollar must give up its rights to free political speech and free association.
Anna Burger, chair of the Change to Win federation, wrote that financial services firms and their trade group should “immediately cease all lobbying and advocacy” against “card check” legislation that would end the secret ballot in union elections. The letter was sent to Steve Bartlett, the head of the Financial Services Roundtable, with helpful copies to Congressman Barney Frank and Senator Christopher Dodd, who happen to have life or death power over the banks.
It seems the Roundtable, a banking lobby, has dared to join the rest of American business in opposing the Employee Free Choice Act. Ms. Burger even took exception to the group’s plans to make the bill “a highlighted topic” for discussion at its spring meeting. She also noted that two members of the Roundtable’s board “engaged in direct partisan opposition to Employee Free Choice.” Someone call the Stasi.
The Journal’s conclusion:
The real goal of the Burger letter is to intimidate the people who oppose “card check,” which is Big Labor’s No. 1 priority but has mobilized business in united opposition because of the great harm it would do to the U.S. economy. We hope the banks tell Ms. Burger we still live in a free country, though sometimes it’s hard to tell.
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