Card Check: Vice President Biden Calls Somebody ‘Black Shirts’

By June 25, 2009Labor Unions

Not seeing any coverage of Vice President Joe Biden’s remarks to the Communications Workers of America on Wednesday, we transcribed his remarks related to the Employee Free Choice Act.

The quotable parts:

You know, the National Labor Relations Act says we should “encourage” – paraphrase – “encourage” unions, not mandate them, encourage them. Why? It’s good for the economy. It’s gotten lopsided, folks.

The guys who were supposed to be wearing striped shirts have been wearing black shirts the last eight years. We don’t have referees out there doing it the right way. We’re switching out the shirts, because we’re switching out the people wearing the shirts.

Black shirts? As in Italian fascists? We assume that’s just a slip, a hasty conflation of black hats and striped shirts, but man…


So if we were just able to get a fora [sic] in which we could debate this honestly and straight-forwardly, without all the baggage, without all the hyperbole, this is something I believe right-thinking, decent Americans, Democrat and Republican, if they hear it out, would be supportive of.

No hyperbole, but the Vice President believes “right-thinking, decent Americans” would support the Employee Free Choice Act. Elsewhere, he suggests that “the good guys in the business community” understand the need for card check, and it’s the “business elites” who oppose it. Isn’t there a possibility employers might oppose the EFCA as a matter of principle? Apparently not.

The Vice President’s premise is that the system is stacked against unions that are trying to organize workplaces. But unions won more than two-thirds of the representation elections in the first half of 2008. How is that stacked against them?

Here are the transcribed remarks from the Vice President’s appearance yesterday at the joint convention/legislative-political conference of the CWA.

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