More EFCA stories: here • More card-check stories: here
Congress would, in fact, do away with secret-ballots
The National Association of Manufacturer's 'Shopfloor' blog has a post up on another oft-repeated card-check myth. The entry starts out with Big Labor's favorite rejoinder to critics of the erroneously-titled "Employee Free Choice Act" (EFCA):
The most-common misleading response from organized labor to the criticism that the Employee Free Choice Act will destroy the secret ballot in the workplace goes like…well, here’s a recent example. It comes from Bill McCarthy, president of the Minneapolis Regional Labor Federation.Well said. Once union organizers are given license to unilaterally bypass NLRB-supervised elections, there's absolutely no incentive for them to go the less-abusive secret ballot route. Union militants know that card-check drives dramatically increase their chances of warehousing employees into monopoly bargaining collectives by opening the door to intimidation and harassment.
"The EFCA would give workers, not employers, the right to decide how to express the choice about going union: through the card-check process OR through the NLRB election process."
McCarthy is playing the readers for idiots. Theoretically, oh sure, union organizers might, possibly, theoretically, choose an election, maybe. But under what possible circumstance would that be a realistic choice?
Shopfloor also highlights the excellent congressional testimony (.pdf) of John Raudabaugh, a labor law attorney and former member of the NLRB. Here's his assesment of the EFCA (emphasis mine):
[Big] Labor claims that elevating card-check to secret ballot status does not do away with the ballot box. Their double-speak is a pathetic attempt to "change the subject." To trigger the secret ballot process and NLRB administrative involvement, 30 percent or more of the employees in an "appropriate unit" must sign a petition requesting an election. Should a union garner signatures from more than 50 percent of the unit employees, an employer can voluntarily recognize the union or not to ensure a secret ballot election. Why? To protect the employee-voter from peer pressure and third party overreaching.And that's the bottom line. The card check bill will almost certainly result in the de facto elimination of all secret ballot protections in the workplace. Suggesting otherwise is simply dishonest.
[Big] Labor wants card-check with 50+ percent yield to bypass but equate to the ballot box process. Why? To effectively silence the employer by conducting a quick, one-sided campaign without counter-information from the employer. Moreover, without the ballot-box, there is effectively no cure to overreaching and false Labor promises.
[Big] Labor and its funded academics ignore Taft-Hartley specifically protecting a worker’s right to refrain from third-party representation. Were the union to come up short of 50+ percent signed cards, would it really proceed to file a petition for an election? No, the secret ballot would not remain a real option under the EFCA proposal.
For a more comprehensive look at the EFCA, check out this (.pdf) National Institute for Labor Relations Research study.