Card Check: A Bill That Simply Can Not Be ‘Improved’

By July 27, 2009Labor Unions

With the Employee Free Choice Act coughing and wheezing toward death from its anti-democratic ills, organized labor is trying to revive pro-union legislation in a new form. Unfortunately, some newspaper editorialists seem to be into the game.

Even usually pro-union editorial pages have been overwhelmingly opposed to “card check,” because it strikes at American democratic traditions. So several have been grasping at the argument that some compromise or “balance” is possible.

It’s not. At its core, the bill is an attempt to remove fairness and balance for both employees and employers in a power grab by labor bosses. In any form, this bill would have disastrous economic consequences. Is that a “compromise?” Less economic ruin?

Today we live with what really is a compromise, the current law. Our labor law system is a product of decade of experience, amendments, interpretations and improvements combined with efforts by the National Labor Relations Board – with Democratic and Republican majorities alike – to maintain fairness in the unionization process. The unions prospered under that compromise in the 1950s, and now they have a hard time attracting members in the private sector. That suggests the fault is labor’s, not the law’s.

Union bosses are clear that they want any ‘new’ proposal allow them to subvert the organizing process, compel employers to accept labor contracts under artificial deadlines and unilaterally increase penalties on employers but not labor unions that violate current law. It may not be card check any more, but it’s not balance and it’s not a compromise.

Union leaders will say that this bill is necessary to “level the playing field” and bring about “labor law reform”. In reality it will do nothing of the sort. The current “card check” bill and related variants seek to skew the careful balance of our labor law system in order to artificially inflate union membership.

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