Rep. Dan Boren (D-OK) is a gutsy Democrat from Oklahoma who voted against the Employee Free Choice Act in the 110th Congress and remains opposed this year. He spoke to the Cherokee County Democrat Women Wednesday, and the labor-backed measure appeared to be a major topic of discussion. From the Tahlequah Daily Press:
“Most of us who believe in democracy believe you should be able to go behind a curtain and cast a vote privately, be it Democrat or Republican,” said Boren. “I believes unions should exist. They play an vital role in proper wages and support families. What I would like to see in the short-term is a chance for everyone to make their case.”
Boren said unions have reported corporations are intimidating employees who have been trying to form unions.
“People have been fired over it, and that’s wrong,” said Boren. “But two wrongs don’t make a right. The EFCA, as it stands, takes away the secret ballot and provides binding arbitration. I don’t believe the government should play a part in setting wages for private businesses. I’m uneasy about that.”
First, thank you, Rep. Boren for standing up for both employers and employees.
On the point that “two wrongs don’t make a right,” agreed as well. But unions report a lot of things, and the “corporations intimidate organizers” is part of their basic alarmist, misleading pitch. James Sherk of the Heritage Foundation has refuted these exaggerations, noting that more than 97 percent of elections take place without any illegal employer activities. And the NLRB sanctions those companies that violate the law. (See WebMemo #1359, “NLRB Union Elections Safeguard Workers’ Rights.”) Unions won two-thirds of organizing elections in the first half of 2008, which tells you the system is not stacked against them.
Rep. Boren adds, “I think the bill in its current form is dead…I also think we’ll end up with a reasonable compromise.”
Perhaps, but probably not. The trouble is that the Employee Free Choice Act contains no basis for reasonable compromise. Its provisions are fundamentally unreasonable, and there’s no middle ground to be extracted from them.
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