Card Check: NYT Reports ‘Compromise,’ i.e., Disguised Card Check

By July 17, 2009Labor Unions

New York Times, “Democrats Drop Key Part of Bill to Assist Unions“:

A half-dozen senators friendly to labor have decided to drop a central provision of a bill that would have made it easier to organize workers.

The so-called card-check provision — which senators decided to scrap to help secure a filibuster-proof 60 votes — would have required employers to recognize a union as soon as a majority of workers signed cards saying they wanted a union. Currently, employers can insist on a secret-ballot election, a higher hurdle for unions.

The abandonment of card check was another example of the power of moderate Democrats to constrain their party’s more liberal legislative efforts.

Other interpretations:

  • It’s another example of the failure of bad ideas. (It does happen, even in Washington.)
  • It’s another example of big labor suffering from being out of touch with basic democratic principles and economic realities. Call it arrogance, if you like.
  • It’s another example of Democrats successfully negotiating with Democrats to stop a bill that would hurt Democrats.

The Times’ Steven Greenhouse reports further:

Though some details remain to be worked out, under the expected revisions, union elections would have to be held within five or 10 days after 30 percent of workers signed cards favoring having a union. Currently, the campaigns often run two months.

In which case unions achieve the advantages they would have gained through card check provisions: You can intimidate 30 percent of employees to sign a card, and then ram through an election before the employers have a chance to explain their point of view. Labor organizers want employees to hear ONLY the union perspective and then vote in a climate of artificial crisis.

Meanwhile, binding arbitration — a process that denies both employers and employees a voice — remains in the bill. Any labor bill that contains binding arbitration is unacceptable to employers, who need to actually run their companies in order to create products and pay employees.

Congress should not be “compromising” such fundamental principles away.

UPDATE (9:43 a.m.): More from The Truth about EFCA.

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