Democracy double-standard

Related video: "Employee Forced Choice Act"
More EFCA stories: herecard-check: here

Secret ballots for Congress, but not for workers

Secret ballots, says the chairman of the House Education and Labor Committee, are a "right" that should be extended to Mexican workers. Secret ballots are used to elect him to his leadership post, and will be used this very week to determine who becomes the chairman of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, and to determine whether or not to evict Joe Lieberman as chairman of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security. And powerful labor leaders met in Washington behind closed doors (yes, in secret) last week to plot strategy.

But according to Education and Labor Chairman George Miller, and to those same union bosses, the right to a secret ballot ought to be stripped, by law, from American workers. Instead, the union bosses should be able to monitor individual workers' votes on whether or not to unionize - in other words, whether or not go give those same bosses more power. How convenient for the union bosses, who will be able to strongarm workers to adopt the union label. And for liberal Democrats like Miller who act as their marionettes.

Miller and his compatriots, the same ones who today or tomorrow will vote in secret about whether or not to strip Lieberman of his power, have said one of the top items on their agenda is the Orwellian-named "Employee Free Choice Act," otherwise known as "card check" legislation, that would let labor leaders (and bullies) know exactly which workers to lean on for votes.

Related video: "Employee Forced Choice Act"

Yet here's what Miller, joined by 15 other congressional liberals in the guise of overseeing trade agreements with Mexico, wrote on Aug. 29, 2001, to a Mexican council: "We feel that the secret ballot is absolutely necessary in order to ensure that workers are not intimidated into voting for a union they might not otherwise choose." Yet now they would deny American workers what that same letter called a "labor right." The hypocrisy is breathtaking.

It's also incredibly wrongheaded. Consider that the heavily unionized "Big Three" automakers say they are in such dire straits that only a federal bailout can keep them from shedding hundreds of thousands of jobs in bankruptcy. Yet other car companies with non-unionized factories in the South are doing just fine. Clearly, those non-unionized workers have far better job security. Why take away their right to choose for themselves whether unions are beneficial? "Card check" is a threat both to workplace democracy and to job creation. It ought to be permanently abandoned.


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