Card Check: Just Because You Call it a Compromise…

By April 13, 2009Labor Unions

From The San Francisco Chronicle, a notebook column by Andrew S. Ross anticipating “compromise” on the Employee Free Choice Act, “Union-organizing bill is getting revised“:

East Bay Rep. George Miller has been leading the charge in the House, but his people are well aware of the situation. “We always assumed we would have to modify it,” said a member of Miller’s education and labor committee staff.

I’m told that conversations with staffers from Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin‘s office, which is doing the heavy lifting on the Senate side, are focusing primarily on the card check provision. As written, it would allow workers to bypass the traditional secret ballot and form a union if more than 50 percent sign cards. One compromise being bruited: ensuring a worker’s right to opt for a secret ballot election, rather than simply checking “yes” on a card.

This appears to be a reference to the “dual card” approach that some of the more aggressive labor activists are casting to see if anyone bites. But it does nothing to reduce the loss of privacy and intimidation concerns that make “card check” unacceptable. Instead of union arm twisting around the message of, “Sign this card,” the message becomes, “Check here. Now sign this card.”

That’s not a compromise.

UPDATE (11:40 a.m.): The Washington Post sought comments from various people involved with the Employee Free Choice Act debate in a Sunday article, “Topic A.” The AFL-CIO’s John Sweeney wasted no time in getting to class warfare: “Our nation stands ready to emerge from the modern-day era of the Robber Baron. For three decades, we’ve valued corporate profit over people and CEO pay over people’s pocketbooks.” Yeah, just call him Mr. Compromise.

Leave a Reply