11/15/08

Bring on the union goon squads

Daily Secret-Ballot News: here
Related video: "Employee Forced Choice Act" • More EFCA : here

Dems and Union Enforcers see eye-to-eye

Perhaps the real test of what kind of President Barack Obama will be, and what kind of Congress the 111th will be, will come over the perversely named Employee Free Choice Act. This piece of legislation would amend the National Labor Relations Act. Under current law, an employer can demand an election to determine whether his employees will organize under some new or existing union. The election is held by the National Labor Relations Board, and the voting is by secret ballot. The secret ballot, of course, is to protect workers against pressure by making sure that no one, neither their employer or the pro-union organizers, can know how they voted.

If the EFCA becomes law, the secret ballot election would be replaced by a "card check" procedure. If a majority of employees sign cards favoring union, then the workforce will be organized.

All the arguments in favor of the change turn on the disadvantages that unions have in getting access to workers. To be sure, employers have easier access to their employees than a union might have, especially if the latter means a union wishing to come into a previously unionized workforce, like Wal-Mart. But card check wouldn't remedy that problem. What it would do is give Union goons the chance to pressure workers. "Hey Joey, I heard you don't wanna be joinin the union! It would be terrible if something were to happen to youse. Or your beautiful children." Card check is a union leg-breaker free choice act.

Related video: "Employee Forced Choice Act"


The Employee Free Choice Act of 2007 passed the House on a party line vote. 228 Democrats and 13 Republicans voted in favor of it. Two Democrats and 183 Republicans voted no. When it got to the Senate it was defeated by a Republican filibuster. The Democrats brought a vote of cloture, to end debate and vote on the bill. The vote was 51 yes and 48 no, on straight party lines. But a vote of cloture requires 60 votes. So card check failed. If it had passed Congress, President Bush would have vetoed it. President McCain would have done the same. But President Obama said he would sign it.

There is now a good chance that the Democrats will get a 60 vote majority. Stevens in Alaska is behind the count, and Al Franken's friend keep finding new votes in Minnesota. I think Chambliss in Georgia will put it out, but I am not certain. If the Democrats do get to 60, it looks like card check is a sure thing.

I would like to think that this was all for show. The Democrats wanted to show the Unions that they were all for them, while they needed their money. Card check is so obviously a terrible idea that, maybe, the Democrats don't really want to take responsibility for it. We might be about to find out.

(southdakotapolitics.blogs.com)

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