Card Check: It’s Union Organizers, Not Employees, With the ‘Choice’

By March 10, 2009Labor Unions

At today’s Senate HELP Commitee hearing on the Employee Free Choice Act, the same old propaganda line was trotted out: The Employee Free Choice Act does not eliminate the secret ballot, it only gives employees a choice between using “card check” or continuing to rely on an election with a secret ballot. It’s just a choice.

In the real world, this is bunk. From the bill text (H.R. 1409, exactly the same as H.R. 800 in the 110th Congress):

If the Board finds that a majority of the employees in a unit appropriate for bargaining hassigned valid authorizations designating the individual or labor organization specified in the petition as their bar gaining representative and that no other individual or labor organization is currently certified or recognized as the exclusive representative of any of the employees in the unit, the Board shall not direct an election but shall certify the individual or labor organization as the representative described in subsection (a).

Our emphasis: Shall not. Since unions don’t file for an election with less than 65 percent of employees having signed cards, the bill DOES eliminate secret ballot elections. In the real world.

Here’s the other reason why the union line about “choice” is a dishonest talking point: In the real world, it’s very, very rare that a  company’s employees decide how to handle an organizing campaign.

Union organizers run the show. And they don’t care what’s in the employees’ interest. They care about the union, union power and union dues.

Read the statement of Larry Getts, an employee of a Dana Corporation plant in Fort Worth, Ind., who testified at today’s Senate hearing.

[It] was easy to see from the get-go that the UAW representative was hardly concerned at all with how he came off to our group and thought he could railroad us all into the union.

The UAW official was even so bold as to curse constantly throughout the presentation, which appalled the elderly women who made up about 80% of our plant.

After this first attempt to organize our shop failed, the UAW changed tactics and sent in a whole new crew.

At that point, it became clear to all of us that the UAW was going to do whatever was necessary to get the required number of signatures.

Union organizers waited for us in the break room, sat with us at lunch whether we wanted them to or not, and walked us to our cars at the end of the day.

The entire time they were constantly badgering us to sign the cards.

That’s the real world. The cards, and the power, were in the hands of union organizers. For employees, there was no choice at all.

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