"First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win." -- Mahatma Gandhi

Legislation Poses Threat to Secret Ballot, U.S. Jobs

June 11th, 2009 by mopns · No Comments

By Carl Bearden

Union leaders nationally are desperate. With membership falling throughout the private sector – from 21.5 percent of the workforce in Missouri 25 years ago to 9.3 percent today – unions have turned toward an Orwellian named proposed federal legislation called the Employee Free Choice Act.

The Unions are promoting the act as the best method to increase membership, and improve wages and working conditions. But don’ be fooled. This initiative would kill U.S. jobs an send even more jobs overseas. Perhaps most insidiously, the proposal woud provide for all, not more, privacy in the workplace by eliminating secret ballot voting for employees deciding whether they want to create a union.

Employees currently have two ways of forming a union. If at least 30 percent sign union cards, there must be a secret ballot vote overssen by the National Labor Relations Board.

If at least 50 percent sign the cards, the NLRB must certify the union, however, the employer has a right to call for a secret ballot election in those cases. Under the proposed legislation, that authority would be stripped away from the employer.

In the vast majority of cases, employers require a secret ballot because they are concerned about intimidation. There’s nothing secret about the cards. Union leaders know who voted and how, and have every intention to ensure that their wishes are paramount.

One union boss, Andy Stern of the SEIU, explained how this works: “We like to say: We use the power of persuasion first. If it doesn’t work, we try the persuasion of power.” This is a union boss power-grab, an attempt to force workers into unions without their consent.

This proposal would impose real costs on businesses at an incredibly poor time not just in Missouri, but across the country. Costs for business owners would skyrocket as wage demands, restrictive work rules, and work stoppages are all used by unions to demand more power. A recent study by Dr. Anne Layne-Farrar, an economist with LECG Consulting, estimates the act would cost 600,000 jobs.

Union leaders say that the current system allows employees to intimidate workers in the weeks leading up to an election, On its website, the AFL-CIO highlights a study claiming that 92 percent of “private sector employers, when faced with em ployees who want to join together in a inion, force employees to attend closed-door meetings to hear anti-union propaganda.”

But this claim simply ackowledges that employers want their side on the union issue to be heard. Union organizers are allowed to disseminate information to workers. Shouldn’t employers have the same right?

Are there employers who violate federal law, illegally intimidating and firing workers involved in legall organizing? Yes, a small number. Fortumately, there are federal laws in plave, enforced by the NLRB, to protect employees from uch actions. But if federal lawmakers approve the Employee Free Choice Act, employers will have no ability to prevent union bosses from intimidating their employees into supporting a union.

Carl Bearden is the State Director of Americans For Prosperity – Missouri.

Related:

Washington Examiner: Dirty Money Watch: Rep. Russ Carnahan, D-MO

WHO: Rep. Russ Carnahan (D-Mo), a co-sponsor of the Employee Free Choice Act (aka Card Check).

WHAT: Carnahan received the following dirty money: Communication Workers of America (PAC) $100 in 2010 cycle; $10,000 in 2008 election cycle; $10,000 in 2006 election cycle. Boilermakers Union (PAC) $2,000 in 2008 election cycle; $1,000 in 2006 election cycle. International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (PAC) $10,000 in 2008 election cycle; $8,000 in 2006 election cycle. American Federation of Government Employees (PAC) $1,500 in 2008 election cycle; $1500 in 2006 election cycle. Service Employees International Union (PAC) $6,500 in 2008 election cycle; $10,000 in 2006 election cycle. United Steelworkers of America (PAC) $10,000 in 2008 election cycle; $10,000 in 2006 election cycle.

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