Skip to comments.Fighting against the secret ballot: Big labor seeks to undermine cherished American tradition
Posted on 09/07/2006 7:13:52 AM PDT by Nevadan
The only growth area for American organized labor in recent decades has been among government agencies, where the increased costs imposed by unionization can be easily passed on to the "customers" without concerns about losing market share to the competition ... since government agencies allow no competition.
In the private sector, victimized by the fading of the smokestack industries and perhaps to some extent by their own success in passing "worker protection" laws, unions are not faring well. Union membership fell to 7.8 percent of all American private sector workers last year, from 20 percent in 1983.
Why? Under current federal law -- a 1935 law the unions long pushed for -- 30 percent of workers at any given workplace can demand an election on union representation simply by signing petitions. At that point, the vote to unionize or not is conducted by secret ballot, under the supervision of the National Labor Relations Board.
Unions brag that they win a majority of these elections. But that's only because organizers are reluctant to call for a secret ballot unless they know they can win -- unless they can count 70 percent promised support, according to some estimates.
In fact, under the current law, most attempts to unionize fail. So the AFL-CIO, et al, now want to change the rules. Thus we have the so-called "Employee Free Choice Act" in Congress -- which is nothing less than an attempt to do away with the secret ballot in such elections, nationwide, replacing it with a card count.
Under a card count system, organizers prevail upon individual workers to sign cards indicating they want to unionize. Once a majority of current employees have signed -- presto! -- you have a union shop.
The problem lies in that phrase, "prevail upon."
Secret ballots exist for a reason. Imagine if the way we "voted" for sheriff was to find uniformed police officers coming to our doors, several at a time, at a time of their choosing, "urging" us to sign a card in favor of their preferred candidate, strongly indicating that those who refuse to cooperate might be subject to a little more rigorous law-enforcement attention.
Similarly, organizers seem to believe they can fare better by having a few burly chaps corner each worker in a hallway or in the parking lot, asking him or her to sign a card, than by allowing that worker to vote in secret. Why would that be? As The Wall Street Journal editorialized Tuesday, "The potential abuses here are myriad, especially in workplace intimidation."
Yet the unions argue they need this change because "employers routinely harass, intimidate and coerce workers who try to exercise their right to form a union at work," according to the AFL-CIO's Web site.
During a secret ballot? Why hasn't the NLRB ever blown the whistle on such malfeasance?
Because it can't occur during government-supervised secret balloting, of course. Because a voter's choice can hardly be any more "free" and "non-coersed" than in an anonymous secret ballot, which gives no one the chance to punish a "wrong" vote, one has to wonder if the sponsors of this law didn't have to go digging through George Orwell to find an appropriate naming convention.
Vote-counters say this so-called "Employee Free Choice Act" has little current chance of reaching President Bush's desk.
But things could be very different if the Democrats recapture one or both houses of Congress this November. That's organized labor's top priority this year.
And do they have a second wish? Sure. The "Employee Free Choice Act."
It's no wonder unions and the Mafia have such an affinity for each other. They're both corrupt sleaze in shoes.
Sure, but it would be for their own good. The burly chaps would have to explain it to them.
If they knew what was good for them, naturally they would want a Union, and so if they think otherwise it is because they are either naive, stupid or being fooled by management (or whatever).
Who needs something silly like secret ballots and democracy when we are blessed with such aristocratic illuminati. They will take away all the pain of personal responsibility and lead us to paradise.
(note: only the DUranged would think that wasn't sarcstic.)
When we said "free" - we didn't mean for you.
--if we could have got rid of the forced-dues checkoff while the Republidums were in control of Congress, it would have deprived the Demotraitors of most of the forty million dollars they plan to spend on the upcoming election--
--I left that unclear--I mean the $40 million the AFL-CIO will spend-
Can't have that!