Labor Day deception: False choice for workers

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Congress wants to force disinterested workers into labor unions

Kentucky AFL-CIO President Bill Londrigan's commentary laments the "union bashing" in TV and radio ads run by the Employee Freedom Action Committee, which expose Big Labor's hidden agenda to do away with secret balloting when workers are deciding whether to organize a union.

The misnamed and misleading Employee Free Choice Act, supported by union officials nationwide, would replace private ballot elections with a process that would reveal how each worker votes.

Union organizers could openly solicit and even coerce workers into signing a request to become unionized. According to Londrigan, this new system would be better for workers as opposed to their current ability to cast a private ballot. He and other proponents of the bill are willing to toss out nearly 70 years of labor law and a worker's right to a secret ballot.

Fortunately, there is a strong sentiment to protect a worker's right to private ballot. A recent Mclaughlin & Associates Poll has shown that 89 percent, nearly 9 in 10 respondents, support a worker's right to a private ballot. Furthermore, 87 percent say a federally supervised secret ballot is the best way to protect a worker's right. Having a worker sign a card that would be made public is not the way to prevent harassment or undue influence from unions or business.

The House passed the bill in 2007, mainly along party lines, but Big Labor's rubber stamps in the Senate could muster only 51 votes, short of the 60 they needed to end floor debate.

Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama supports the so-called free choice disaster. Democratic U.S. Reps. Ben Chandler of Versailles and John Yarmuth of Louisville voted for the deceptive, union-driven bill and continue to support it.

The National Labor Relations Board has administered secret-ballot elections for years. The unions' problem with the system stems from the continued drop in their membership, and they need their benefactors in Congress to stop the decline.

If more than 50 percent of the workers at any given company want to consider unionization, so be it. Let the ballot box be the place to determine the outcome, not some deceptive federal bill that would make hanky-panky the law.

This bill isn't wanted by the merit shop or union shop workers of Kentucky or the nation; it's wanted by labor unions to increase membership and help bankroll their financial support for Big Labor-friendly politicians.

- William Parson of Louisville is president and CEO of the Associated Builders & Contractors of Kentuckiana.


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