Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Orwellian in Name, Undemocratic in Game

And I was so hoping to avoid blogging about Kagen this week...thanks Charlie.

By now everyone has seen the video that Owen and the gang at Kagen Watch tracked down. After some digging myself on Google, you find the YouTube video is from the Wisconsin AFL-CIO's blog. In fact, today they posted pictures of "the Good Doctor" in Appleton on Saturday signing a petition on the "Employee Free Choice Act."

It's the EFCA or H.R. 800 that I want to talk about. As I commented on Owen's board earlier this morning, this bill - co-sponsored not just by Kagen, but the entire Democratic portion of the Wisconsin House delegation - is as Orwellian as they come. It calls itself the "Employee Free Choice Act" when it in reality takes away an employee's right to ballot privacy. By "reforming" the National Labor Relations Act to allow union organizing to be subject to a card check process instead of a secret ballot, they will subject employees to days and weeks of intimidation, threats, humiliation, and much, much more.

Isn't it the Democrats who are supposed to be the ones opposed to "Voter Intimidation?" Isn't it the "Progressive Tradition of Wisconsin" to ensure that people have access to a ballot, in whatever form they choose, without bosses - either political or union - telling them how to vote?

Sorry, thought I was dealing with alleged ideologues, not a bunch of partisan hacks who like to throw the name "Fighting Bob LaFollette" around when they wanted to score political points.

James Sherk, the Bradley Fellow at the Heritage Foundation, has done the most outstanding research availavlw on the EFCA. Here's some of his work from last June.

(In 2007, Democrats in Congress tried to get the EFCA passed. They were successful in the House, but the bill died in the Senate. President Bush had sworn a veto if it ever did reach his desk. Democrats lacked the numbers to override.)

Organized labor's highest legislative priority, the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA, H.R. 800), would replace secret ballot union organizing elections with "card check," in which union organizers publicly solicit workers' signed union authorization cards. If a majority of a company's workers sign cards, they all automatically join the union without an election. In public, unions argue that card check reveals employees' preferences more reliably than the private ballot. But in private, union activists acknowledge that workers often sign union cards because of peer pressure or harassment and that publicly signed cards do not reflect workers' true intentions. That is why unions argue against letting workers use card check to leave a union. Policymakers should understand that union activists know that card check does not reveal employees' free choice.
Unions know very well what they are doing here. They want to lock in potential members with card check, but deny them the same means to disband the current union, or re-organize under a different union. Meaning in short, that even union leaders will not allow their own members to use the very tactics they use.

Union leaders of course have known that for sometime now. Like as far back as the 1960s.
NLRB pledge cards are at best a signifying of interest at a given moment. Sometimes they are signed to "get the union off my back"…. Whatever the reason, there is no guarantee of anything in a signed NLRB pledge card except that it will count towards an NLRB election.

Unions regularly submit publicly signed authorization cards from a large majority of a company's workers, only to see the workers reject the union in the privacy of the voting booth. In a study of organizing campaigns, the AFL-CIO admitted that "it is not until the union obtains signatures from 75% or more of the unit that the union has more than a 50% likelihood of winning the election."
There is one organization out there that is trying to educate the public on what the "Employee Free Choice Act" is really about, it is The Coalition for a Democratic Workplace. Notice, they mean democratic like the adjective meaning: pertaining to or of the nature of democracy or a democracy, not like the name of the political party that continues to prove that despite its name, it is anything but.

They've already done polling on the issue seeing how much voter education is needed as well as how it would play in various Senate races. They even have ads ready to go. They star Vincent Curatola, best known for playing the mobster "Johnny "Sac" Sacramoni." He clearly relishes the role he's been given to play in these spots.

Here's there general ad:


Here's one against Minnesota Democratic Senate Candidate (and tax cheat) Al Franken.

Proponents of the Employee Free Choice Act are not selling employees free choice, they are taking it away from them.