USA Today: No Card-Check

To follow up on Don’s post, from the editors of America’s middle-of-the-road (to be generous) national newspaper, USA Today, an essay against “card-check” legislation:

A win for Obama and big gains for Senate Democrats could remove the remaining obstacles to the euphemistically named “Employee Free Choice Act.”
Cajoled choice is more like it. The proposed change would give unions and pro-union employees more incentive to use peer pressure, or worse, to persuade reluctant workers to sign their cards. And without elections, workers who weren’t contacted by union organizers would have no say in the final outcome.
Labor leaders, such as AFL-CIO President John Sweeney in the space below, argue that the proposed law wouldn’t prohibit private balloting. This is accurate but misleading. Union organizers would have no reason to seek an election if they had union cards signed by more than 50% of workers. And if they had less than a majority, they’d be unlikely to call for a vote they’d probably lose.
The legislation has other questionable provisions as well. For example, once a union is formed, if labor and management can’t agree on a contract, a federal arbitration board would be called on to go beyond the normal role of facilitating talks and actually dictate terms.
Labor has seen its role decline since the 1950s, when about a third of all private sector employees belonged to unions, compared with about 7.5% today. So it’s understandably eager to find ways to expand membership, particularly at a time when workers are feeling economically vulnerable. But undermining democratic principles is not the answer.

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15 years ago

That’s why organized labor (a.k.a. Unions) are more frequently being referred to as Domestic Terrorism!!!
Amazing how many people are members not for the “brotherhood” but rather to avoid the harassment and intimidation.
But then again, if only membership (a.k.a. dues money) was voluntary and not through mandatory dues or no job, I wonder how low the “membership” numbers would be then.

15 years ago

I subcontracted at a warehouse in RI that was attempting to form a union. The teamsters did not take them seriously because only 55% of the workforce signed cards. Over 1/2 of the workers were willing to declare their desire to form a union. The teamster organizer was skeptical. He said that his union usually only got new unions when card checks were over 75%. The unionization effort was rejected by secret ballot. One side could explain this result by the repudiation of union strongarming or by the other side by the efforts of the company and its hired anti-union specialists and their coercive tactics in the weeks between the card check and the election. Those efforts included the firing of certain employees.

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