9/3/08

Barack's hopeless contradiction

More EFCA stories: here

#1 agenda item strikes fear of intimidation among union rank-and-file

Does “the politics of hope” mean scrapping the right of American workers to cast a ballot in private? Does Barack Obama really want his image to include the systematic dismantling of union elections in the workplace?

Well, apparently so. Obama’s campaign is now inextricably knotted up with the campaign by organized labor to strip workers of their right to vote in private on whether they want to unionize.

The so-called Employee Free Choice Act has become labor’s top priority, with a labor advocacy group this week launching a $5 million ad campaign. And as the Herald reported on Sunday, local union affiliates are mobilizing the troops to press the case for the bill now before Congress.

The legislation would require employers to immediately recognize a union upon receiving cards signed by a majority of eligible workers. But under current law the signed cards lead to a workplace election, supervised by the National Labor Relations Board. With a secret ballot.

Labor’s motives are clear. Union membership, with the exception of government unions, is declining. Naturally organized labor wants to reverse that trend. And hey, more power to ’em.

But just as workers have a right to organize, they have a corresponding right not to organize. And the card-check system essentially strips them of that right.

And heaven help the politician who ends up on the wrong side of this issue. At least one union has resorted to thuggish threats. At the Democratic National Convention last week, the head of the Service Employees International Union told The Associated Press that any Democrat or Republican who reneged on support for “free choice” would “paint a target” on their backs this election season.

Threats and intimidation. Not exactly the change we’ve been waiting for.

(news.bostonherald.com)

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