11/12/08

Union secret-ballot news - Nov. 12

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Stories-of-the-day concerning Organized Labor's #1 priority.






Unions Try to Get Rid of Secret Ballot ... When running for president, Barack Obama promised American unions that he would push the Employee Free Choice Act through Congress. This act is horribly misnamed, for it does not aim to give employees any free choice; instead, unions want to use this bill in order to force themselves on employers and employees alike. (poligazette.com)

Unions poised to pounce, victims seek compromise ... A gaming company CEO who spoke on the condition he not be identified said with a tone of conviction, "We will be hearing a lot more about this because Obama owes so much to organized labor." MGM Mirage Senior VP Alan Feldman says there is no question that the Act will get a lot of attention "considering one of its original sponsors is in the White House. "All we (the industry) want is an even playing field and the way this thing is written now it is totally one-sided," he said. The goal will be to get some reasonable minds together and work toward a compromise that takes some of the lopsidedness out of existing language. (gamingtoday.com)

Capitalists cower, gird for Obama onslaught ... The Employee Free Choice Act, otherwise known as the card check bill, passed the House in March but stalled in the Senate. Obama co-sponsored the legislation and has said he would continue to fight for its passage, while business groups have aggressively opposed it. “Seems to me that would not be the most politically astute move,” said Bruce Josten, the Chamber’s executive vice president for government affairs. “Why would you want to start picking a fight right away on a major, titanic clash?” (mlive.com)

Union boost more likely with Obama ... Steven Biddle, a labor lawyer with the Phoenix office of Littler Mendelson, said he has been getting calls from anxious businesses ever since it became clear that Obama had a good chance of winning - and especially on Wednesday after the election. Businesses favor the secret ballot because it prevents employees from being unduly pressured by labor bosses, he said. "Studies have shown employees will sign a card because they are pressured or intimidated into doing so either by peer pressure or by the union organizers. What happens is when the employee goes into the ballot booth and fills out a ballot, they change their vote. And there's no way for the union or the employer to know which way they voted," he said. He said the proposed law would "absolutely" make it easier to form unions, even in a right-to-work state like Arizona. Right to work means employees don't have to join unions to get jobs. (azcentral.com)

Rocking voters the wrong way ... But let us look at some of your "facts." The insert states that "McCain opposes [and Obama supports] the Employee Free Choice Act, which gives workers the right to form a union and bargain for better pay, health care and working conditions." You leave out that opponents point out that workers already have the right to form a union, and that this act would eliminate the secret ballot and open up workers to intimidation both by corporations and by labor bosses. (thelantern.com)

Employee Forced Choice Act is a Black Power Issue ... In the final analysis, it is changes in power relationships that determine who emerges from this crisis with a stronger hand. In strategic, real-power terms, possibly the most important measure on Barack Obama's menu for early action, is the Employee Free Choice Act, which organized labor believes would add five million new union members to the rolls over five years. At present, unions represent only 16 million workers, many of them public employees. In the private sector, only 7.5 percent of workers are unionized, the result of decades of unrelenting Republican assaults on the right to organize and backstabbing by corporate Democrats eager to declare an end to the class struggle. The Employee Free Choice Act would require companies to recognize a union as soon as a majority of the workforce signed a union card, and to move immediately towards a contract. If negotiations were unsuccessful, a federal arbitrator would step in and impose a contract. As things stand now, even after workers win the right to a union, about one-third of the time the effort fails to lead to a contract. (blackagendareport.com)

Prez Bam faces loyal opposition ... When President Obama makes a verbal gaffe or stutters, as he is prone to do when he is not using a teleprompter, I will laugh. When his administration has a scandal or makes a mistake, which it will, I will criticize. When he fails to fulfill even one of his plethora of promises, I will call him a liar or maybe I'll be nice and say that President Obama just "misled" us. I will fight every effort President Obama makes to restrict my freedoms. If he proposes a new "fairness" doctrine for broadcasters, I will fight him. If he proposes or supports efforts to implement the anti-American "card check" system for union organizing, I will fight him. When he attempts to take the wealth from those in this nation who have earned it and give it to those who have not earned it, I will fight him. (news-leader.com)

Related video: "Employee Forced Choice Act"

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