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An Issue Republicans Cannot Afford to Ignore

Last month I wrote about card check, an issue that has not gotten a lot of attention this election season. Although not an issue on the radar of most voters, the ramifications, especially for Republicans, could be significant. Today I was emailed a link to this video and to the website Save the Election, which are calling attention to the issue. Here is an excerpt from the column I wrote last month:

Under the deceptively named Employee Free Choice Act, if a majority of employees have signed union cards, employers would no longer be able to demand a secret ballot election. Oregonians for Employee Freedom says unions "prefer card check because it means they know exactly how people are going to vote. For anyone who doesn't agree with joining the union, they are more open to threats, intimidation and undue pressure by other co-workers, union organizers and even their supervisors. Workers can even be visited in their homes by union organizers so that the organizers can "persuade" workers that a union is the right thing to do in their workplace."

According to the Wall Street Journal, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) "plans to spend some $150 million in this year's election, most of it to get Barack Obama and other Democrats elected." Earlier this year, blogger Todd Beeton quoted a speech by Secretary-Treasurer of SEIU Anna Burger in which she said the key reason the EFCA is so important to SEIU is that "it is the fuel -- the opening -- for SEIU to change our growth curve from 100,000 to a million or more workers a year." Beeton said "that in itself, Burger argues, makes the Employee Free Choice Act larger than any one single issue, even more important than healthcare." So not only would the act result in a loss of privacy for employees and greater power for union bosses in the workplace, but it would also serve as a way for those on the left to grow the source of labor's funding which overwhelmingly goes to support Democrats for election.

Ed Morrisey wrote, "Card Check would make it easy for union organizers to intimidate workers into voting for the union by eliminating the secret ballot, and then the SEIU and other unions could force more cash from workers into the pockets of Democrats...Now the SEIU suddenly has $150 million, from which they've already committed at least $85 million specific to Democratic candidates. That money got squeezed out of the locals under duress, in obvious violation of the spirit and letter of federal law. The union knows how to protect itself and its interests, and the lockstep nature of their support for Democrats should awaken voters to the threat their policies comprise. This is nothing more than a closed-feedback loop for Democrats, and Card Check is the prize that will ensure its rapid growth."


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Comments (11)

Lorie,Thanks for d... (Below threshold)
nehemiah:

Lorie,

Thanks for drawing attention to this important issue. This almost coercive method to get people to become unionized will have a very negative impact on workers, businesses, the country, and the conservative cause. This issue should get more attention. Please also fight for North Carolina as it is not yet comfortably decided.

Interestingly enough there ... (Below threshold)

Interestingly enough there was a contingent of 16 Democrat congress critters that wrote a letter to the Mexican government in 2001 asking that they retain the secret ballot for employees on whether to join a union as it is the only sure way of ensuring a real Democracy and that no intimidation takes place. Sounds good, huh? The problem is "every one of the 11 remaining signees is now a sponsor" of the Employee Free Choice Act.

Idiots. Every one of them.

Lorie, I live in Portland, ... (Below threshold)

Lorie, I live in Portland, Oregon and some TV ads largely sponsored by the local SEIU do not endorse any party or candidate, only encourage working people to contact Republican Senator Gordon Smith and ask him to support the Employee Free Choice Act which requires the National Labor Relations Board to establish a new election system for those workers who want to unionize which is free from any influence or intimidation from anyone, including the employer or the union, not held at the workplace site.

Most provisions of the Employee Free Choice Act only put more teeth in existing federal laws against an employer wiretapping employees or other existing federal crimes. Interestingly, it is just this one small part of this larger bill dealing with the NLRB that some critics are using as an attempt to gut this entire bill.

Many of the donations that SEIU members make are to charities such as United Way for example, that have nothing to do with partisan politics. But Republican legislators have always been welcome to address labor sponsored events as well as to appeal for political endorsements. In 1972 for example, the AFLCIO made no endorsement in the presidential race allowing union members to vote for either President Nixon or George McGovern as they wish. But as many as 40% of union members support a Republican in many elections regardless if an official union endorsement exists.

Oregonians For Employee Freedom is not an Oregon organization at all, but a front organization run by millionaire Washington, D.C. lobbyist Rick Berman, whose main funding comes from the alcohol, tobacco industry and some large meat processors who are trying to keep their employees which are largely comprised of minority members or immigrants from unionizing to achieve safer working conditions, better wages, health or retirement benefits. Many of the tobacco industry interests who support Berman have been convicted in federal courts of racketeering before and of justice obstruction and evidence destruction when they were on trial before. Berman has also waged efforts to fight MADD and fight drunk driving laws as well, because it hurts alcohol sales. And Berman has fought on behalf of some companies that use questionable pesticides in their food products as well. Berman likes to call himself Dr. Evil, because he always fights on the side of something harmful to consumers or society to benefit some client business which pays him to lobby on their behalf.

Should have know Hooson wou... (Below threshold)

Should have know Hooson would pop in to further endorse this infringement, as Jay put it, "on the sanctity of the voting booth".

"In 1972 for example, the AFLCIO made no endorsement in the presidential race allowing union members to vote for either President Nixon or George McGovern as they wish."

How big of them. You had to go back 36 years to find that one. However, they've endorsed Obama, in 04 they endorsed Kerry, in 00 they endorsed Gore, in 1996 it was Clinton and on back it goes ...

"But as many as 40% of union members support a Republican in many elections regardless if an official union endorsement exists."

You mean they "let them"? They just don't get a say in who their union dues are sent to as contributions.

It's not that China is becoming more like the US every day as you claimed in another post today - it's that the US is becoming more like China.

If secret ballots and the o... (Below threshold)
Lorie Byrd:

If secret ballots and the other "small part of this larger bill dealing with the NLRB that some critics are using as an attempt to gut this entire bill" are no big deal, then it will be no problem to remove them then. Right?

Are you really trying to convince me that unions contribute equally to Democrat and Republican candidates? It is not even worth debating that most union money and effort goes to Dems. Kind of like I would not bother arguing that NOW or NARAL support Democrats. It is not a big secret.

As for Dr. Evil or any other horrible sounding person that is against the bill, I don't see how that changes the concerns I have with it. If Osama bin Laden was against the bill it would not change the reasons I think it is a bad idea.

Lorie,I was a union ... (Below threshold)
maggie:

Lorie,
I was a union member for 22 years, and never
in that time was there backing of republicans.
We were 'advised' to vote straight democratic
ticket.
Telling this first person experience to Hoosan
of course is a waste of time.
Especially since he's so expert on unions. Not.

Lorie, I live in P... (Below threshold)
Lorie, I live in Portland, Oregon and some TV ads largely sponsored by the local SEIU do not endorse any party or candidate

That's a laugh. I live in Eugene, and SEIU's name appears prominently at the end of a whole series of anti-Gordon Smith ads that have been airing all summer. I doubt these ads are local to Eugene. Surely you must have seen them, Paul.

Paul, I live 90 miles NW fr... (Below threshold)
epador:

Paul, I live 90 miles NW from you, and you need to stop drinking the local fluids down there. (we have good microbrews here not contaminated with Willametitis). Ask all the folks working at the local canneries and in the timber trade here what the unions did for them. Ooops, all there jobs left cause it was too expensive to hire union workers in the US (among other things).

Ooops, I was typing fast at... (Below threshold)
epador:

Ooops, I was typing fast at the office. Instead of "there" I shoulda typed
"them there" so sorry for the confusion ;-)

Secret ballots are the foun... (Below threshold)
tyree:

Secret ballots are the foundation of democracy, which is why socialist unions and some Democrats want to get rid of them.

Bear in mind that Hooson ha... (Below threshold)
SCSIwuzzy:

Bear in mind that Hooson has never been in a union, and does not employ union labor.




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