Monday, March 2, 2009

Another Note on "Removing the Secret Ballot"

Because I can't stop beating this dead horse.

Another flaw in the business lobby's favorite argument against the Employee Free Choice Act is that it equates secret ballots with fair elections. One of their TV ads shows a character from "The Sopranos" looking over the shoulder of a guy in a voting booth. You don't want mobsters watching you vote, do you?

Well, union elections are not federal elections. Federal elections come with secret ballots plus laws that protect political speech and other standards of fairness. Union elections come with secret ballots plus an almost completely one-sided, employer-dominated campaign. I stole the following chart from American Rights at Work, and it helps demonstrate my point:
 election standards comparison
If we're just dead set on having secret ballots for every union election, then let's remake our workplaces and overhaul labor law, so that the column on the right side of this chart is full of green checks. Then we can drop the card-check provision from Employee Free Choice. Would industry representatives join us in this effort, seeing how they are such champions of free and fair elections? The answer, of course, is hell-to-the-double-no. The captains of industry know that truly fair union elections would require reforms running much deeper than the Employee Free Choice Act's modest majority signup provision. The bill that would make the chart above full of green checks would be one of the most radical, leftist laws our country has ever seen.

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