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Employee Free Choice Act Dies, Employee Free Choice Lives

Senate Republicans blocked a vote on the "Employee Free Choice Act" today via a cloture vote, effectively ending consideration of the legislation that would ironically enough end private votes for union certification in favor of public, mandatory "card checks."

The AFL-CIO vows to fight on since the ability to strong-arm employees and use peer pressure and fraud to obtain certifications is worth fighting for. Here's what they have to say...

The battle for the Employee Free Choice Act moves to the 2008 election after a handful of obstructionist senators have blocked a vote on the bill. On a vote of 51-48, the Senate voted for cloture, that is, shutting off debate. Sixty votes were needed to invoke cloture and end the debate and move to a vote on the bill. So even though a majority of the Senate voted for cloture, a small group of Republicans denied workers a free choice to join a union.

To which the EFCA Updates website rightly asks:

We make two observations at this point. First, when labor's allies immediately threaten all-out political war against United States Senators who disagree with them, is it hard to understand why some might be worried about union intimidation of an average worker who might not want to sign an authorization card? Second, when labor refers to 48% as a "small group," isn't it reasonable to question the reliability of other statistics it might cite?

Back to the AFL-CIO...

But the momentum for this bill is growing. The grassroots movement behind this legislation is bigger and more exciting than anyone believed last year. Working families across the country mounted a massive campaign to win passage of the bill. Sixteen governors and nearly 1,300 state and local elected officials expressed support for the legislation in all 50 states. Seven presidential candidates also back the bill.

While that's all nice and good, the public knows that this thing stinks. The House Education and Labor Committee's Republican's note that the measure was universally panned.

During and after House consideration of the bill in March and leading into the Senate debate on the measure this month, public opinion polls, newspaper editorials, and television and radio commentaries underscored incredible opposition to the measure.


According to public opinion polling conducted by McLaughlin and Associates earlier this year, 89 percent of the American people believe the secret ballot - and not a card check - is the surest way to prevent intimidation from either employers or unions. And nearly 80 percent of those polled oppose the bill. Furthermore, major national newspapers, from the Washington Post to the Los Angeles Times, have editorialized against the undemocratic card check legislation.

This pig in lipstick was supposed to be the big payback to organized labor by Democrats for their help in last November's victories. Fortunately for the working men and women of America they weren't stuck with the bill...


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Comments (64)

The inside skinny I got on ... (Below threshold)

The inside skinny I got on this measure was that the proponents knew it would never pass, but pushed forward anyway because they wanted to get the Republicans on the record against the measure. It'll probably come back once or twice more before the 2008 election.

If the Senate had held thei... (Below threshold)
wavemaker:

If the Senate had held their cloture vote on card-checks, the AFL-CIO wouldn't know who to target.

Someone should have moved for a secret ballot!

I don't know a whole heckuv... (Below threshold)

I don't know a whole heckuvalot about this, but at face value, common sense tells me that voting in front of a union organizer indicating whether you want them is an intimidation technique.

Another problem is that unions give considerably to campaigns for politicians that may not be to the liking of their members. My father belonged to a union, but was constantly at odds with many of the other views the politicians held that his union contributed to. It irked him to no end that they became advocates for a whole host of things that had nothing to do with work related issues; public policy, pension funds, etc.

Lee is trying to make this ... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

Lee is trying to make this mess look good for democrats. I am sure republicans in the next election cycle, will run adds touting how Reid and the other democrats tried to pass a law that would make it illegal to have confidential votes. Dream on Lee the Liar Tsar, but this is another one in the dimmer category. ww

Actually, WeeWillie, Wavema... (Below threshold)

Actually, WeeWillie, Wavemaker (in one of his rare moments of lucidness) got it right.

If the Senate had held their cloture vote on card-checks, the AFL-CIO wouldn't know who to target.

Right. Those Senators who went on the record against this measure are now targets for the unions. There will probably one or two more votes before the next election which will give these Republicans a chance to 'redeem themselves' before it really gets nasty.

I don't support the unions in this effort, as I think this a pretty greasy way to handle union organizing, but that the news folks. I don't make the news I just link to it...

Ah, Lee, cynical and intimi... (Below threshold)
kim:

Ah, Lee, cynical and intimidating. Meet the new Boss. The herd is only going to hear the bellowing about obstructionist Republicans blocking the free choice of the working man.
===================================

The inside skinny I got ... (Below threshold)
MikeSC:

The inside skinny I got on this measure was that the proponents knew it would never pass, but pushed forward anyway because they wanted to get the Republicans on the record against the measure. It'll probably come back once or twice more before the 2008 election.

"Republicans Oppose Removal of Secret Ballot".

Feel free to run on that issue, Lee.
-=Mike

Imagine waking up to find t... (Below threshold)
Brad:

Imagine waking up to find that Hillary was the new president because the Democrats had accumulated enough "cards" to prove that she had the support of 51% of the American public. Imagine that you had not even been contacted and were not aware that an election had taken place.

I have nothing against collective bargaining but unions are not about power to the worker, they are about despotic power to a different select group.

There are better ways to ge... (Below threshold)
kim:

There are better ways to get justice for workers than two chefs in the kitchen.
=========================

"The herd is only going ... (Below threshold)

"The herd is only going to hear the bellowing about obstructionist Republicans blocking the free choice of the working man."

Right. All we're talking about here is the right to vote - there is nothing saying HOW they'd vote -- they could vote for the union, or against it -- but who in America -- come on now, sing it with me kim -- WHO in America is against the right to vote?

Republicans. We now have a list.

Lee Ward: "Right. All we're... (Below threshold)
Drago:

Lee Ward: "Right. All we're talking about here is the right to vote.."

Every now again, the lies of the left, as evidenced above, are so breathtaking that you almost have to wonder if the idiot spouting them is really a Rovian plant to undermine the other side.

Lee, please be so kind as to provide links that demonstrate that, due to Republican opposition, votes for unionizing workforces has been repealed.

Don't worry, we know that what you are really about is the abolition of the secret ballot, exactly as it has been done with every communist government in the world.

Nuff said.

Good old Lee. He wants all the same "rights" that they have in Communist China or Cuba.

Thanks Lee!!........but no thanks.

Did Lee really say that or ... (Below threshold)
kim:

Did Lee really say that or am I misunderstanding? You know that a secret ballot was preserved by the actions of those Republicans, don't you? Did you miss the point, or are you really as cynical as you seem?
==========================

Ward, your ignorance is sho... (Below threshold)
Zelsdorf Ragshaft III:

Ward, your ignorance is showing, again. Your insistance on being stupid is disgusting. Go back to your sandbox. It is funny how the fact 80% of those polled were against this measure. And who but those freedom loving lefties would think it was better to let Unions intimidate people into jointing, Walmart anyone, rather than allow workers to decide by secret ballot, which ils tradition in this country.

Kim, like all good little l... (Below threshold)
Drago:

Kim, like all good little lefties, Lee has been told what the "truth" is by his little lefty masters, and no amount of factual rebuttal will win out with him.

Lee probably actually believes that votes by unions to determine if workforces will organize have been repealed.

He's that stupid.

What a relief, Drago, I muc... (Below threshold)
kim:

What a relief, Drago, I much prefer stupid cows to cynical ones.
=======================================

So you guys missed the poin... (Below threshold)

So you guys missed the point again - no surprise there.

Union organizing faces huge uphill battles to get representative elections. This measure would make simplify the matter with public, mandatory card checks. Organizing elections would be a much more common occurrence under this program.

Do you guys always need your news pre-digested, then fed to you with a small spoon? You guys never read the linked articles do you? And you have no prior knowledge of this issue before reading this post?

From the article Kevin linked: "The Employee Free Choice Act (S.1041), would have leveled the playing field in the workplace by allowing workers to decide to join a union without employer interference [snip]". The interference they are referring to is the current, onerous election process.

Instead of jumping through huge hoops to get a ratification election, a process which can take years, mandatory postcard voting (as facilitated by this bill) would simplify things greatly, and make the election process much easier and more common.

You guys really ought to read a newspaper once in a while...

Were the words too big?

I would jump through hoops ... (Below threshold)
kim:

I would jump through hoops for a secret ballot; I'm sure our mutual ancestors died for it. What is the matter with you, Lee?
=================================

Lee, let me spell it out fo... (Below threshold)

Lee, let me spell it out for you:

The cards are not to FACILITATE an election. They are to REPLACE the secret ballot.

Translation: "We don't need no vote. Guido and Nunzio had a little chat wit da workers, and here are all da cards we need to bring in da union."

Lee has become so reactionary -- "if enough of the right-wingers say one thing, it's gotta be a LIE!!!!!!!!!" -- that he's lost whatever ability he ever had to think on his own.

J.

The phrase 'mutual ancestor... (Below threshold)
kim:

The phrase 'mutual ancestors' is probably an error. My meaning is that we both have ancestors who have died for secret ballots and the like.
=====================================

So maybe you are cynical in... (Below threshold)
kim:

So maybe you are cynical instead of stupid. The Stalinist name 'Employee Free Choice Act' should be a giveaway.

Why do you think cleverness like this endears you to the electorate? They are a herd, but not of cows.
========================

Our ancestors died for it -... (Below threshold)

Our ancestors died for it - how patriotic you are, kim.

The Republicans want to keep the current system that delays or totally prevents union elections. Witness Wal-Mart. How many elections have they had in the years that they've been battling the unions.

This measure would bring elections to businesses where there aren't elections now, kim - so you're heart-tugging flag-waving "secret ballot" meme is nothing more than the usual right wing bullshit.,

Here we have Republicans working to prevent elections - and you couch it a a patriotic measure. How droll...

Here you have the right to ... (Below threshold)
kim:

Here you have the right to secret ballots being preserved and you couch it as repressing elections. That is not droll; it is insidious, and evil.
==========================

Insidious and evil don't so... (Below threshold)
kim:

Insidious and evil don't sound very bovine, Lee; are you sure you want to stampede on this alarm?
============================

I'm curious to see the 51-4... (Below threshold)
kim:

I'm curious to see the 51-48 breakdown. Was it all Republicans against all Democrats, or nearly?
===========================

Lee the idiot: "Union organ... (Below threshold)
Drago:

Lee the idiot: "Union organizing faces huge uphill battles to get representative elections. This measure would make simplify the matter with public, mandatory card checks. Organizing elections would be a much more common occurrence under this program."

Let me see if I can sum this up more succinctly.

Lee, You. Are. Lying.

This bill would have NO impact on HOW MANY elections are held.

They would simply allow the union reps to stand right in front of voter and watch as they "choose" to vote for unionization or not.

Simply put, Lee is advocating the very tactic that perfectly symbolizes every communist totalitarian country in the world.

What a surprise that Lee would support that. Actually, it's not a surprise at all.

AS a former union member (U... (Below threshold)
SCSIwuzzy:

AS a former union member (UFCW and UAW), shop steward and organizer, let me say this: You are more full of shit that usual, Lee.
This bill would allow folks in the union to know who voted (or didn't) and HOW they voted. For places that are not unionized but their employees are given the choice, this means that the unions now know who to pressure.
For the shops that already have a union work force, this is still a bad thing. The union leaders would now know who supported or opposed their pet projects. Like who voted against spending union dues on political campaigns. Or who voted for or against raising the dues or changing the internal rules. Would you trust all of these folks to not take advantage of this knowledge?
There is a reason why the founding fathers of this country wanted a secret ballot. Why don't the unions and certain congress critters in Washington?

SCSIwuzzy: "There is a reas... (Below threshold)
Drago:

SCSIwuzzy: "There is a reason why the founding fathers of this country wanted a secret ballot. Why don't the unions and certain congress critters in Washington?"

Because, like Lee, they are Stalinists.

Lee at 5:19 you said:... (Below threshold)
MikeNC:

Lee at 5:19 you said:

"I don't support the unions in this effort, as I think this a pretty greasy way to handle union organizing, but that the news folks. I don't make the news I just link to it..."

So you are against the bill.

Then at 5:38 you say:

"Right. All we're talking about here is the right to vote - there is nothing saying HOW they'd vote -- they could vote for the union, or against it -- but who in America -- come on now, sing it with me kim -- WHO in America is against the right to vote?
Republicans. We now have a list."

Now it sounds like you are for it.

Then at 6:38 you post a bunch more stuff that I won't copy and paste that also sounds like you support the bill.

Which is it? It seems to me that Jay Tea has you pegged. If the right is against it then you are for it and vice versa. No wonder you have found a home at Wizbang Porno - I mean Blue.

You guys know a tiny bit ab... (Below threshold)

You guys know a tiny bit about an issue, and when someone comes along and speaks of an area in which you are ignorant you call them a liar. Tsk tsk, little putzes.

afl-cio:

Recent research has shown that some 60 million U.S. workers would join a union if they could.

But the current system for forming unions and bargaining is broken. Every day, corporations deny workers the freedom to decide for themselves whether to form unions to bargain for a better life. They routinely intimidate, harass, coerce and even fire workers who try to form unions and bargain for economic well-being.

The Employee Free Choice Act (H.R. 800, S. 1041), supported by a bipartisan coalition in Congress, would level the playing field for workers and employers and help rebuild America's middle class. It would restore workers' freedom to choose a union by:

*Establishing stronger penalties for violation of employee rights when workers seek to form a union and during first-contract negotiations.

*Providing mediation and arbitration for first-contract disputes.
Allowing employees to form unions by signing cards authorizing union representation.

*Allowing employees to form unions by signing cards authorizing union representation.

And SCSIWuzzy, if you're a former union shop steward it's no wonder they kicked you out. You're a liar.

As to secret ballots, I agree that they are better system. That's the principal reason behind me saying that I disagreed with this tactic of the unions (see my 5:19 comment).

But the facts are the facts, and you trolls can throw all of the stones you want -- the simple matter is that this measure would have greatly facilitated the holding of organizing elections, and those Republicans who opposed it will now be targeted by the unions as opposing the right to organize and hold (timely) elections.

And as I said, all you have to do is look at Wal-Mart to see how the current system hold back the right to organize. It takes years to organize an election, and this system would change that.

Secret ballot - we can agree on that -- but quit your lying Republican ways, you trolls.

Union organizing faces h... (Below threshold)
MikeSC:

Union organizing faces huge uphill battles to get representative elections. This measure would make simplify the matter with public, mandatory card checks. Organizing elections would be a much more common occurrence under this program.

Would you support that for, say, voting for public officials?

From the article Kevin linked: "The Employee Free Choice Act (S.1041), would have leveled the playing field in the workplace by allowing workers to decide to join a union without employer interference [snip]". The interference they are referring to is the current, onerous election process.

THe intimidation is done on the part of the unions, not by management.

The Republicans want to keep the current system that delays or totally prevents union elections. Witness Wal-Mart. How many elections have they had in the years that they've been battling the unions.

Why is it that unions lose more certification elections than they win? Couldn't be that people DON'T WANT TO BE UNIONIZED, could it?

But, heck, you certainly know better what people want than those lowly peons do.

And citing an AFL-CIO study saying people would join a union if they could? Wow, I'm sure that is some REALLY impartial studies being done there.

Lee, you've already shown you're a terrible writer on Blue. You've demonstrated this week that you are completely clueless. Shooting for being a liar now?
-=Mike

Lee: "Secret ballot - we ca... (Below threshold)
Drago:

Lee: "Secret ballot - we can agree on that -- but quit your lying Republican ways, you trolls."

Thanks for your continued obfuscation and lying Comrade.

Destruction of the secret ballot renders all null and void, as all good little stalinists know.

Which is why the union leadership demanded it.

Which is why all communist countries use non-secret balloting.

Which is why Lee supports it.

Sen Kennedy (<a href="http:... (Below threshold)

Sen Kennedy (link): (emphasis added for the lying idiots)

Loopholes Inviting Abuse

The procedures that workers can use to organize and obtain union representation have large loopholes that invite abuse by employers. When workers attempt to form a union, employers often respond with tactics of intimidation, harassment and retaliation. Employees who join the fight for workers' rights are fired. When workers win the right to organize, employers resort to delay in entering into a contract for months or even years after the union is certified.

Current law prohibits some of these abuses, but employers have no incentive to change their behavior. When employers are penalized for illegal acts, the remedies for workers come far too late--and the penalties are a slap on the wrist. It can be years before a union supporter who is fired receives back pay or reinstatement from the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), which means that recourse to the Board is an empty threat. Litigation challenging unfair labor practices or improper conduct during a union election can remain pending before the Board for years. At the beginning of last year, 347 unfair labor practice cases had been pending before the Board for more than 17 months. By the end of the year, it had closed only about a third of these cases. Recourse to the NLRB is frequently too little, too late.

We need stronger protections that enable employees to organize freely and negotiate fairly. We also need stronger and stiffer penalties for employers who refuse to play by the rules.

Free Choice

That's why I have introduced the Employee Free Choice Act now pending in Congress. This important law protects the right of workers to form a union; requires employers to come to the table to negotiate a contract; authorizes court orders to stop employers from firing or threatening union advocates; and strengthens the penalties in current law for mistreatment of workers who support a union.

Under the bill, employees will be able to choose between two options for gaining union recognition--a card check or the NLRB electionprocess. Since anti-union conduct is so rampant in union election campaigns, the elections become coercive and hostile, rather than free and fair. Under current law, workers can try to avoid such elections by asking the employer to recognize their union based on a signed worker authorization--a card check; but employers often refuse to accept a card-check procedure. Even if all employees sign cards supporting union representation, the employer can still require an election. The bill preserves the rights of union members by requiring employers to bargain with a union authorized by a majority of workers through the card-check procedure.

As a result, workers' chances of freely exercising their right to freedom of association increase dramatically. In fact, the card-check procedure is good for both employers and unions, since it promotes healthy relationships between employers and employees. Eliminating contentious elections from the certification process produces a better long-term relationship between union and employer.

What - I - said.

Let me know if there are any words you don't understand.

Lee,So the definitio... (Below threshold)
SCSIwuzzy:

Lee,
So the definition of liar in your world is "anyone that does not agree with Lee" Interesting. Explains much of your "commentary".
I switched careers, like many people do. From working in retail (shop steward), to manufacturing, to IT. Upward mobility, one of the greatest features of the American experience.
I've been in good union locals, and I've been in bad.
Also, quoting the AFL-CIO? No bias or agenda there on their part. Rather like asking NAMBLA about age of consent legislation...

Yes Lee, we are all familia... (Below threshold)
Drago:

Yes Lee, we are all familiar with how Teddy Kennedy "characterizes" this bill.

However, destruction of the secret ballot is what the point of this bill was.

Yep, for Lee and his pals, it's important to disregard the single most important requirement of a truly free election (put in place by our founding fathers) in order to implement what every totalitarian thug regime requires in its "elections".

"Also, quoting the AFL-C... (Below threshold)

"Also, quoting the AFL-CIO?"

Feel free to link to any source that you think clarifies the intent and mechanics of this measure.

Lee: "Feel free to link to ... (Below threshold)
Drago:

Lee: "Feel free to link to any source that you think clarifies the intent and mechanics of this measure."

The attempt to destroy the principle of the secret ballot is all the proof of intent any thinking person needs.

Why do you think totalitarians use non-secret ballots?

Recent research ha... (Below threshold)
John in CA:
Recent research has shown that some 60 million U.S. workers would join a union if they could. Posted by: Lee Ward at June 26, 2007 07:54 PM

I wonder how many current union members would quit their union if they had the option?

I know the last grocery store union strike that we had here at least four of them quit instead of going on strike. That was just at the one grocery I usually frequent. One said, "This is just stupid. I hate this union BS."


John: "I wonder how many cu... (Below threshold)
Drago:

John: "I wonder how many current union members would quit their union if they had the option?"

That's a question that Lee and the stalinists want to ensure they can control the answer to.

I can't believe that we, in the USA, are actually debating the merits of a bill that would destroy the secret ballot.

Just one more example, as if we needed more, of what the modern left is all about.

What a cow. He doesn't sup... (Below threshold)
kim:

What a cow. He doesn't support the unions' greasy effort, but refuses to recognize the value of a secret ballot.
================================

If you actually read what W... (Below threshold)
Zelsdorf Ragshaft III:

If you actually read what Ward has to write, it becomes obvious that he opposes anything that is posted here. A more infantile response is hard to find. It is hard to believe anyone like Lee was educated in Amerca. Then the realization comes that we are in serious trouble when you understand that there are lots of Lees out there. It would appear as thought abortions were performed on the wrong women. Unions are responsible for the destruction of our educational system and they have priced Amercan goods out of the market place. Unions no longer serve the purpose for which they were developed and should be banned in the public sector. Lee should be restricted to Wizbang Blew.

Unions are respons... (Below threshold)
John in CA:
Unions are responsible for the destruction of our educational system and they have priced Amercan goods out of the market place. Unions no longer serve the purpose for which they were developed and should be banned in the public sector.

They should also be banned in the government sector. The only way union membership has not totally collapsed is because legislative action (federal, state and local) has ensured their survival.

It's interesting that unions have decided to continue to use the communist tactics,that their roots are steeped in, in an attempt to maintain control.

Instead, why haven't they tried to adapt to current needs of their membership? Why haven't unions adapted to provide health care coverage, as a union, for their members? Why haven't they established retirement and savings plans for their members? Negotiate with the corporation for a wage as a purely pay compensation, then let the union members decide to buy in to union benefits.

Those kind of things would give the worker more options of changing jobs, not being tied to a company that they may no longer find viable.

Those are just some things I've wondered about for a long time. I don't think the unions are interested in that. Despite their claims of being for the worker, it seems they are more for the union leadership and against the man.

Sounds like wee wee lee lee... (Below threshold)
jhow66:

Sounds like wee wee lee lee wardie from bluie is a commie.

Out of curiosity, weren't o... (Below threshold)
MikeSC:

Out of curiosity, weren't one of the left's more consistent complaints about Bush is that he passes laws with names that they feel mask what the act is REALLY about?

And they have no problem with THIS act?

Strange.
-=Mike

Something else I'd like to ... (Below threshold)
John in CA:

Something else I'd like to know about unions? How much does it cost, as a function of union dues, to belong to a union?

I ask because in 2005 the Ca teachers union spent some ridiculous amount of money (more than $30 million?) to defeat one proposition on the ballot - to raise teacher tenure from 3 to 5 years. I also heard on the radio the teachers union had actually mortgaged their headquarters building to raise enough money to make sure the measure was defeated.

Lee Ward:The i... (Below threshold)
marc:

Lee Ward:

The inside skinny I got on this measure was that the proponents

YOU, with an inside skinny?

You've been looking at your penis again haven't you?

I'm all for stopping any in... (Below threshold)

I'm all for stopping any intimidation by companies to keep unions out, but NOT by allowing intimidation by unions to get in.

Why is that so hard for Lee to understand? In his 7:54pm post he cites this:

*Establishing stronger penalties for violation of employee rights when workers seek to form a union and during first-contract negotiations.

And this:
*Providing mediation and arbitration for first-contract disputes.

Nothing wrong with that.
This is the problematic part:
*Allowing employees to form unions by signing cards authorizing union representation.

This measure is not to "allow" them to vote by signing cards. It's to "make" them vote by signing cards. As if they cannot provide the first two protections any other way, which is patently ridiculous.

You can start with Lee's fi... (Below threshold)
Steve L.:

You can start with Lee's first comment to shwo that he is FOS. He said:

The inside skinny I got on this measure was that the proponents knew it would never pass, but pushed forward anyway because they wanted to get the Republicans on the record against the measure.

If the mesaure is sow widely hated by the public (which all polls seem to indicate from what I have seen and read,) then why in the world would the Democrats want to get the Republicans oppostion on the record? All that would seem to do is undermine the Democrats own position with the electorate.

The truth of the matter is that the Democrats were throwing a bone to organized labor. They knew the bill is hated. They knew it would never pass. In fact, the majority of them would likely vote against it if it came to the floor if for no other reason than to appease their constituents. By scheduling a cloture vote, they can tell organized labor that they tried to pass the bill while telling the voters that they are really opposed to the bill and that the cloture vote was only so that it would come to the floor and allow for a vote on the merits.

It is a classic political weasel move.

And Lee was looking forward... (Below threshold)
kim:

And Lee was looking forward to using 'The List' against Republicans. This is what happens when the corruption poisons the intellect.
========================

"Under the bill, employe... (Below threshold)
Eric:

"Under the bill, employees will be able to choose between two options for gaining union recognition--a card check or the NLRB electionprocess. "

Lee read that statement carefully. Look at the first option, which restated says, Under the bill, employees will be able to choose a card check for gaining union recognition.

That is the point of contention here. The current process is for employees to have a card check prior to a secret ballot election. This new law does away with the secret ballot provision and opens up employee intimidation by the unions.

It is the Democrats who are attempting to do away with a secret ballot election.

Democrats love to tie big business to the Republicans and talk about much the Republicans are in the pockets of big business.

http://www.opensecrets.org/orgs/index.asp

Of the top 10 political donors of all time 6 are Unions who give on average 94% of their money to the Democrats.

In 2006 alone just those 6 unions gave Democrats $13,561,823. Those unions want something for that donation, so this bill is bought and paid for by the unions.

Here's your big chance, Lee... (Below threshold)
kim:

Here's your big chance, Lee. Break from the herd. You recognize it is greasy. Why isn't it even greasier to deceive those working men about who supports honest elections for them? It is a simple choice; are you corrupt?
================

You might as well come clea... (Below threshold)
kim:

You might as well come clean. You're being duped, you know, if Eric is right, and it seems so.
=================================

Since 1990 all Unions combi... (Below threshold)
Eric:

Since 1990 all Unions combined have donated

To Democrats: $539,755,533 92%
To Republicans: $ 44,220,828 8%

No other industrial sector on has 90+% of the donations going to a single party.

This just shows that if there is any party in the pocket of a special interest it the Democrats in the pockets of the Unions.


Well, Eric and Steve L. Wh... (Below threshold)
kim:

Well, Eric and Steve L. What do you think of Steve L's post at 8:45 AM, Lee? Do you feel like a schmuck? Those Stalinists you listen to don't give a shit about you. To them you are a useful idiot.
=================

The fundamental purpose of ... (Below threshold)
Eric:

The fundamental purpose of this bill is to make it easier for unions to get into a company. The problem is that it does it by doing away with secret ballot elections.

Today, for a union to get into a company it is essentially a two step process. The Card Check is nothing more than a petition to have an election. Everybody's name on the petition is visible. The union knows who signed it and the company knows who signed it, but it also means that both the union and the company know who didn't sign it.

Traditionally companies have pressured those who have signed the petition and the unions have pressured those who didn't.

The great equalizer was the secret ballot. Employees were free to vote for or against the union without fear of reprisal by either the union or the company.

THIS BILL, does away with the secret ballot. Having enough names on the Card Check petition is enough to get the company unionized. But all of the names on the petition are visible to everybody else.

It gives unions free reign to initimidate and coerce employees to sign the petition. And to make matters worse, this bill puts limitations on companies trying to resist unionization.

This is a one sided bill designed solely for the purpose of helping out the unions and does it by getting rid of one of the most fundamental rights we have as Americans.

If the Democrats try to use this vote against the Republicans it will backfire on them.

They will try, Eric, and th... (Below threshold)
kim:

They will try, Eric, and they may succeed. Look at Ward, he positively drools at the prospect of using 'the List', and I don't trust MSM to get the truth out. These Stalinists are bad boys. Look, he's already invoked It that Must be Named, Walmart.
=======================

"They will try, Eric, and t... (Below threshold)
Eric:

"They will try, Eric, and they may succeed. Look at Ward, he positively drools at the prospect of using 'the List', and I don't trust MSM to get the truth out. These Stalinists are bad boys. Look, he's already invoked It that Must be Named, Walmart."

Kim they will only succeed if the GOP rolls over and plays dead with the issue. If the GOP decides to fight back then the the issue will backfire on the Democrats.

All the GOP has to do is the same thing I just did, 1) Show how much the Democrats are in the pockets of the Unions and 2) show that this bill was designed to eliminate a fundamental right that all Americans enjoy to benefit those unions. You can make 30 second commercials about that all day long.

I hope you are right, Eric.... (Below threshold)
kim:

I hope you are right, Eric. It is an easily understood issue.
============================

You have it backwards, Kevi... (Below threshold)

You have it backwards, Kevin. Many employers are the one's who are strong-arming employees not to join labor unions. And much of this is already illegal under federal law.

In Oregon, a Catholic nun operated nursing home recently was charged with federal crimninal violations by spying on employees when they they had a reasonable expectation of privacy and threatening their jobs if they joined a union and other federal labor law violations. This new bill simply restated most of existing federal labor laws and strengthened enforcement. That's all. Shame on those senators who pandered to their big corporate political donors and ignored that present labor laws need stronger enforcement measures.

Paul, on this you are absol... (Below threshold)
Eric:

Paul, on this you are absolutely wrong, and I know what I am talking about. I have worked as a union member and I currently work for a law firm which has a large labor law practice. Unions have a very long history of using violent intimidation to get their way. There is no denying that.

There is simply no good reason to eliminate secret ballot voting. The secret ballot protects individual employees from intimidation by either employers or the unions.

<a href="http://www.nrtw.or... (Below threshold)
Eric:

SEIU Union and ResCare Health Giant Hit With Federal Charges for Illegally Forcing Unionization on Workers

Princeton, WV (December 26, 2006) - Walter Coeburn, a ResCare, Inc. assisted living employee filed federal labor board charges against the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) District 1199 and ResCare for their attempts to force unwanted unionization on Coeburn, his co-workers and employees all across West Virginia.

Coeburn filed the charges at the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Region 11 offices in Winston Salem, NC, with assistance from National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation attorneys. The unfair labor practice charges ask for an injunction to block the union and ResCare from continuing their unlawful activities, and they detail multiple violations of the National Labor Relations Act by SEIU officials and ResCare.

As part of an agreement kept secret from employees, ResCare executives agreed to abandon even the limited protections offered to employees under a NLRB-supervised secret ballot election and instead impose a coercive "card check" procedure, in which union organizers can browbeat employees individually to sign cards that are then counted as "votes" for unionization.

Because of the prevalence of union intimidation tactics directed at employees, card check is controversial for severely curtailing workers' freedom of choice in deciding whether or not to unionize. Consequently, the organizing scheme has sparked numerous legal cases documenting coercive activities by union organizers, including threats, bribes, and stalkings of rank-and-file workers. In this case, witnesses said that SEIU organizers lied to many employees by stating that signing the cards was only a request "to get more information."

The "card check" procedure used at ResCare is part of a larger misnamed "neutrality and card check agreement" designed to have the employer assist union organizers in pushing workers into the union's ranks. Under such agreements, the company commonly must give union officials unfettered access to workers on company property and the home addresses and phone numbers of employees, resulting in menacing home visits from groups of union organizers. Also, such agreements usually include a "gag rule" preventing the employer from commenting on any potential impact of unionization.

In exchange for agreeing to assist the union with the card check scheme, ResCare executives received concessions from SEIU officials, including an agreed upon contract to be foisted upon the employees once the card check unionization was complete. Such "pre-recognition bargaining" clearly violates federal law, yet the SEIU and ResCare are now rolling this scheme out all over West Virginia and Ohio.

"Union officials sold out the interests of the very workers they sought to 'represent' in order to force unionization and compulsory dues on these employees," said Stefan Gleason, vice president of the National Right to Work Foundation. "Union organizers' illegal behavior shows that they don't respect the rights of the workers; they just want the forced union dues revenue."

In response to their ill treatment, Coeburn and his colleagues conducted a decertification drive to throw out the unwanted union. A majority of employees in the bargaining unit have signed a petition asking the NLRB to conduct an election to determine if the SEIU really has the majority employee support it claims.

<a href="http://www.nrtw.or... (Below threshold)
Eric:

Auto Union Hit with Federal Charges For Bullying Nurses Seeking to Remove Union

Toledo, OH (July 31, 2006) - For the second time in four months, United Auto Workers (UAW) union officials face federal labor board charges for violating the rights of nurses at St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center. The latest charge, filed by St. Vincent nurse Amy Anderson, details union officials' campaign of bullying and intimidation as Anderson and others sought to collect signatures from their co-workers to throw the unwanted union out of their workplace.

The nurse's unfair labor practice charge against the UAW union and its Local 12, filed with the assistance of National Right to Work Foundation attorneys, lists numerous examples of union agents' "thuggish and unlawful activities" including surveillance of nurses, writing down license plate numbers, stalking employees, massing around employees who sought to sign the decertification petition, verbal and physical intimidation of nurses and threats against employees seeking decertification.
The alleged harassment took place at and around the medical center including in the cafeteria, parking lots and even in bathrooms.

Despite the union officials' organized campaign of unlawful intimidation, the nurses were able to collect signatures from 30 percent of employees - the minimum necessary to trigger a National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) supervised decertification election. Once the signatures are certified by the NLRB Region 8 Director in Cleveland, the Board will hold a secret ballot election through which the health care professionals can rid their workplace of the abusive union.

"UAW union officials have unleashed a shameless campaign of intimidation upon St. Vincent nurses in their lust to preserve the flow of forced union dues," said Foundation vice president Stefan Gleason. "Given such hostility for the rights of the very rank-and-file nurses that UAW officials claim to 'represent,' it comes as no surprise that many nurses are leading the effort to show them the door."

Previously, four nurses from St. Vincents filed federal charges with the Board against the UAW union and its Toledo Local 12 for violating their rights by threatening to have nurses fired, despite failing to inform the employees of their right to refrain from formal union membership and the right to pay a reduced fee in lieu of full union dues. Under the Foundation-won United States Supreme Court decision Communications Workers v. Beck, union officials must inform workers of their right to remain nonmembers or resign from formal union membership and to refrain from paying for activities unrelated to collective bargaining, such as union political activities.

Tired of union officials' mistreatment, a group of nurses formed "Nurses For A Union-Free St. Vincents" (www.NursesKnowTheTruth.bravehost.com) with the goal of decertifying the unwanted automotive union.

<a href="http://www.nrtw.or... (Below threshold)
Eric:

24-Hour Security Detail Hired to Protect Thomas Built Bus Worker's Family Against UAW Union Reprisals

High Point, North Carolina (March 15, 2005) - Responding to threats against an employee who led a successful legal challenge to the United Auto Workers (UAW) union's forced unionization of the Thomas Built Bus facility, the National Right to Work Foundation today commissioned a 24-hour security detail at the employee's home.

Meanwhile, the Foundation called upon two local district attorneys and police chiefs to open an investigation into the UAW union's possible role in encouraging reprisals against workers opposing unionization.

The Foundation hired the security firm, Corporate Security International, Inc. which is staffed by former United States Army Delta Force counter-terrorism experts, after menacing flyers were circulated throughout the plant containing Jeff Ward's phone number and detailed driving directions to his personal residence. A call to arms on the flyer reads "Jeff Ward lives here. Go tell him how you really feel about the union."
The threat came as Ward successfully settled federal labor charges filed on behalf of his coworkers against the UAW union, Thomas Built, and Freightliner who federal labor prosecutors found had struck a sweetheart deal resulting in the unlawful coercing of employees into union ranks.

In a letter dated today, Foundation staff attorney Bill Messenger called upon the district attorneys for Guilford and Davidson counties, as well as the Thomasville and High Point police chiefs to investigate the harassment in order to protect Ward and his family, who have already begun to receive harassing phone calls late at night.
Referencing the flyer, Messenger urged, "This map constitutes a threat. It is an inducement for individuals to harass or do violence to Mr. Ward's person, family, and/or property, based on his legal cause of action against the UAW. I urge that a thorough investigation be conducted as to the origin of this unlawful threat, and that the perpetrators of this action be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law."

"Given the documented role of UAW militants in union violence, it'd be unwise to take chances when it comes to the safety of Jeff Ward, his wife, and his children," said Foundation Vice President Stefan Gleason. "Union violence is a harsh reality, and Mr. Ward and his family should not have to live in fear simply because he came forward to assert his rights and the rights of his fellow employees."

Facing prosecution by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), UAW union and Freightliner officials were forced to agree last week to cancel outright a company-wide sweetheart deal in which union officials had unlawfully bargained to cap workers' wages and made other major concessions in exchange for Freightliner's active assistance in coercing workers to unionize.

Based on evidence provided by Foundation attorneys, the NLRB's General Counsel found that Freightliner officials at Thomas Built provided unlawful assistance to the union and held unlawful "captive audience" speeches jointly with union officials to coerce employees to sign union authorization cards that were treated as "votes" in favor of unionization.

<a href="http://www.nationa... (Below threshold)
Eric:

Consider these examples of union impunity:

* Labor Ready manager Matthew Kahn helped guide replacement workers to Hollander Home Fashions after its Los Angeles-area plant was struck by the Union of Needletrades, Industrial and Textile Employees in March 2001. Ramiro Hernandez and several UNITE organizers allegedly ambushed Kahn on May 18, 2001 in Labor Ready's parking lot. Khan suffered a concussion and multiple head lacerations. According to Women's Wear Daily, Hernandez's lawyers said he was arrested, but all charges against him were dropped.

* The International Brotherhood of Teamsters was on strike against Overnite Transportation between October 1999 and October 2002. In Overnite's resulting RICO lawsuit against the Teamsters, Memphis-based federal District Court Judge Bernice Donald said that 55 shootings and additional brick and projectile attacks against Overnite's non-striking drivers were "related to attempted murder."

20-year Overnite employee William Wonder was shot in the abdomen while driving a company vehicle near Memphis, Tennessee on December 1, 1999.

"Overnite bears a heavy responsibility here," Teamsters president James Hoffa Jr. said in a statement that appeared to capitalize on Wonder's near-fatal injuries. "Overnite can end this strike at a moment's notice with a binding agreement."

To date, no one has paid for shooting William Wonder.

* As David C. Horn, vice president and general counsel of AK Steel Corporation, testified before the House Education and Workforce Committee last September 26, negotiations with the United Steelworkers of America and AK's Mansfield, Ohio plant faltered in March, 1999. A company billboard soon sported a poster that read:

Wanted -- good reliable small arms, unused explosives (C-4 preferred) names and addresses of all salary employees. Payback time!

The following September 25, Horn testified, "two, 1-gallon explosive devices with nails are found on plant property. The fuses had been lit but failed to detonate the devices."

After a Molotov cocktail burned beside an oxygen-hauling truck near the facility that October 15, one of two pipe-bombs tossed into the plant exploded the following November 11, luckily injuring nobody.

On December 6, 9, and 11, 1999, the home mailboxes of three salaried AK employees exploded. On the 11th, another bomb damaged an S&S Transportation truck that indirectly supplied AK scrap metal, injuring Jamie King of Leesville, Ohio, then 22, who was asleep inside the vehicle. She temporarily ended up on crutches.

After additional violence, a union representative anonymously told a reporter for a July 18, 2000 story: AK's "going to get somebody killed by not coming to the [negotiating] table."

Impressive, and thanks, Eri... (Below threshold)
kim:

Impressive, and thanks, Eric.
=================




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