Media Fogging the Card Check Debate

Mickey Kaus has been on top of “card check” from the get go. His latest takes on some of the media spin regarding the issue:

The labor side’s ability to get reporters to use their version of card-check’s controversial secret ballot provisions continues to amaze. Here’s WaPo‘s Alec MacGillis:

The bill, first introduced in 2003, gives workers the choice of whether they want to organize by getting a majority of workers to sign pro-union cards, instead of having to hold secret-ballot elections.

That’s one finely-spun sentence there. Who are the “workers” who will have this “choice”? They are the union organizers mounting a unionization campaign. Do any other “workers” who sign or don’t sign the cards have a “choice” of methods? a) The cards aren’t to choose the method. They are to choose the union. If 50% of the workers sign the cards the union will have won, period. An election at that point is prohibited; b) The only way an individual worker could use this system to “choose” a secret ballot election is by somehow signing a card if it will help union organizers meet the 30% threshhold required for an election but refusing to sign it if it will give the union organizers the 50% that will kill the election. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer recently outlined this complicated card-signing strategy with a straight face on the House floor. But of course no individual worker will know if his signed card will provide the 31% plurality or the 51% majority. Only the organizers know this. You could sign the card intending to provoke an election and discover that you actually prevented an election. There’s no way for ordinary workers to reliably game the system in order to “choose” a secret ballot. c) The whole underlying dispute is over whether the act of signing cards is an accurate expression of worker choices, or whether it subjects individuals to subtle and unsubtle community pressure to vote against their real preference. By assuming that the cards represent the true “choice” of workers, Hoyer and others assume what is at issue.

Kaus also points to this recent Rasmussen poll:

National Survey of 1,000 Adults
Conducted March 13-14, 2009
By Rasmussen Reports

1* Do most working Americans want to belong to a Labor Union?
23% Yes
44% No
33% Not sure
2* [Answered Only By Those who are Non-Union Members] Would you like to belong to a labor union where you work?
9% Yes
81% No
9% Not sure
NOTE: Margin of Sampling Error, +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence

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Tom W
Tom W
12 years ago

It’s all about money and power – the unions lie and dissemble regarding EFCA. It’s not about worker choice or building the middle class or any of their other spin – it’s about getting millions more “dues units.” Note this Congressional testimony from a former union organizer: “In most cases, the workers have no idea that there is a union campaign underway. Organizers are taught to play upon this element of surprise to get “into the door.” They are trained to perform a five part house call strategy that includes: Introductions, Listening, Agitation, Union Solution, and Commitment. The goal of the organizer is to quickly establish a trust relationship with the worker, move from talking about what their job entails to what they would like to change about their job, agitate them by insisting that management won’t fix their workplace problems without a union and finally convincing the worker to sign a card.” “At the time, I personally took great pride in the fact that I could always get the worker to sign the card if I could get inside their home. Typically, if a worker signed a card, it had nothing to do with whether a worker was satisfied with the job or felt they were treated fairly by his or her boss. I found that most often it was the skill of the organizer to create issues from information the organizer had extracted from the worker during the “probe” stage of the house call that determined whether the worker signed the card. I began to realize that the number of cards that were signed had less to do with support for the union and more to do with the effectiveness of the organizer speaking to the workers” “I began my career with UNITE with a strong belief in… Read more »

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