« This is how Barack Obama Upholds the Sacred Trust? | Main | Big Brother - coming soon to a network near you »

Understanding the Gallup-ing Ghost Poll on CardCheck

In the mail this morning were notes referencing a new Gallup poll on public reactions and perceptions to the Employee Free Choice Act, also known as CardCheck. The new Gallup poll, Majority Receptive to Law Making Union Organizing Easier, uses language that is entirely misleading. This seems to have escaped those sending around otherwise important highlights and notes on the poll.

For instance, one paragraph sent around conservative circles this morning reads:

An important takeaway is that "those most closely following news about the union-organizing bill are the most opposed to the general concept of a law making it easier for unions to organize: just 40% are in favor; 58% are opposed." (Lydia Saad, "Majority Receptive to Law Making Union Organizing Easier," Gallup, 3/17/09)

Sure, it is important to note that the majority of those who follow closely and therefore see more of the details oppose the Employee Free Choice Act. And that is, of course, true. But that's not what Gallup says.

Another at least equally "important takeaway" is the manner in which the Gallup poll terms the elimination of secrecy in voting as "making it easier for unions to organize". What it should say is that those who follow closely object to "making it more intimidating for workers to remain non-union".

But of course, it doesn't.

That is exactly what the objection is, not objection to "making it easier."

But you'll have to pick that Gallup-ing ghost out of the crowd of opaque phraseology used to once again slant the language used in reporting raw numbers. Conservatives would do well to acknowledge this and make it part of their discussion of this statistically revealing yet linguistically misleading poll.

Isn't it fascinating that the Gallup poll's title chooses to employ the findings from those less informed or uninformed, rather than the more valuable data set: Results from those who are more informed and knowledgeable of the bill in question?

If I may answer: No, it's not fascinating. It's business as usual.

Pay attention. It's free. (More free than your shop's choice will be under this bill's rules.)


TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
/cgi-bin/mt-tb.cgi/34954.

Comments (42)

So you're primary objection... (Below threshold)
mantis:

So you're primary objection is that the poll didn't use leading language in their questions?

Here's Gallup's phrasing,

Generally speaking, would you favor or oppose a new law that would make it easier for labor unions to organize workers?

apparently, you would prefer,

Generally speaking, would you favor or oppose a new law that would make it easier for labor unions to intimidate workers?

but, one could phrase it leadingly the other way,

Generally speaking, would you favor or oppose a new law that would make it harder for management to intimidate workers?

Sorry Gallup chose the more neutral, and completely factual, language in their poll. That makes sense to a pollster, but apparently not a wingnut.

Isn't it fascinating that the Gallup poll's title chooses to employ the findings from those less informed or uninformed, rather than the more valuable data set: Results from those who are more informed and knowledgeable of the bill in question?

Yes, why did Gallup tout the overall results in their headline, when they could have picked a narrower subset to focus on, making wingnuts happy? After all, that should be the primary job of a pollster.

Nuance.... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

Nuance.

It's shockingly outrageous ... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

It's shockingly outrageous that mantis, who lives outside the movement conservative noise machine, would disagree with someone who aspires to become a cog within it.

On this, and any other issue regarding labour relations, the safe bet is to subject oneself to what Rush Limbaugh, Michelle Malkin, or Hugh Hewitt have to say on the matter, and then assume the opposite to be true.

This is a positive step for labour relations in America, so it only makes sense that the supply-siders would be out in force trying to convince middle class voters that what's good for big business is good for America. That obviously isn't the case, and people aren't as stupid as you wish they were.

...and people aren't as ... (Below threshold)
Oyster:

...and people aren't as stupid as you wish they were."

Stupid, no. But ignorant, yes. In fact, many are counting on it.

It's not about Card Check m... (Below threshold)
Tim:

It's not about Card Check making it easier for unions to organize, it's about how it makes it easier. It's about taking away the right to cast a secret ballot. A right we cherish when it comes to elections, but apparently not when it comes to unions.

This is a positive step ... (Below threshold)
mantis:

This is a positive step for labour relations in America, so it only makes sense that the supply-siders would be out in force trying to convince middle class voters that what's good for big business is good for America.

Generally speaking, what's good for big business is good for America, but only if we have laws in place that protect workers (and a reasonable tax system that doesn't cause the middle class to drown in debt due to decades of stagnant wages).

It's not about Card Chec... (Below threshold)
mantis:

It's not about Card Check making it easier for unions to organize, it's about how it makes it easier. It's about taking away the right to cast a secret ballot. A right we cherish when it comes to elections, but apparently not when it comes to unions.

First of all, workers can still hold a secret ballot vote, or they can sign up a majority. All union organization starts with signatures. Once a union has 1/3 of the work force signed up, they can petition management to represent those workers. Management can then recognize the union, or call for NLRB election. Companies can, and some do, use the time prior to the election to threaten and intimidate workers and fire organizers. This is illegal but the penalties are virtually non-existent, as is enforcement.

Under Card Check, workers can bypass the election by obtaining majority support for the union. Sounds pretty democratic to me.

The argument against this is that the union supporters will intimidate workers, forcing them to sign on when they don't want to belong. It's possible, but I don't believe it would come anywhere near the intimidation employees get from management. Ask yourself, what's more threatening, a fellow worker who wants you to join a union that doesn't yet exist, or a manager who can fire your ass?

You could "Ask yourself,... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

You could "Ask yourself, what's more threatening, a fellow worker who wants you to join a union that doesn't yet exist, or a manager who can fire your ass?"

Or you "could phrase it leadingly the other way":

What's more threatening, voting in private where no one will ever know which way you voted, or having a group of thugs show up at you home and threaten you and your family to sign or card right now, right in front of them, or else while they look at you and your children with tire irons in their hands?

Yeah, that was a stupid thi... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

Yeah, that was a stupid thing for me to have said. Big Business encapsulates most of the working class, after all. What I should have said is, supply siders see anything intended to directly benefit the working classes is perceived as socialism or fascism or some other -ism they don't really understand; and the only Amurkan way to help the middle class is through tax breaks for high earners and corporations such that wealth might trickle down.

That doesn't happen because rational rich people hang onto their wealth, and so things like unions and labour laws are necessary to ensure a modicum of fairness. And that makes Larry Kudlow sad, and sets Alan Greenspan's jowls a-quivering.

The fellow worker who wants... (Below threshold)
Tim Billings:

The fellow worker who wants me to join a union I don't want to join is much more threatening. That fellow worker can vandalize my property and threaten the safety of myself and my family anonymously. All the manager can do is fire me, he can't do that anonymously and there are legal remedies already available if he does so for improper reasons.

First of all, workers ca... (Below threshold)
Tim:

First of all, workers can still hold a secret ballot vote, or they can sign up a majority. All union organization starts with signatures. Once a union has 1/3 of the work force signed up, they can petition management to represent those workers. Management can then recognize the union, or call for NLRB election. Companies can, and some do, use the time prior to the election to threaten and intimidate workers and fire organizers. This is illegal but the penalties are virtually non-existent, as is enforcement.

Under Card Check, workers can bypass the election by obtaining majority support for the union. Sounds pretty democratic to me.

No, they can't. The 30% provision is superceded by the Card Check legislation. Ask Adrian. He got his ass whooped in an argument about this and ran away with tail between his legs.

http://wizbangblog.com/content/2009/03/10/card-check.php#comments

Pay special attention to post 34 which has links to the the National Labor Relations Act, which contains the 30% provision, and the link to the Emloyee Free Choice Act, which AMENDS the NLRA, therefore overriding previous provisions.

What's more threatening,... (Below threshold)
mantis:

What's more threatening, voting in private where no one will ever know which way you voted, or having a group of thugs show up at you home and threaten you and your family to sign or card right now, right in front of them, or else while they look at you and your children with tire irons in their hands?

Thanks for the walk down memory lane. How about the union-busting goon squads that will attack the union organizers? What about when the Pinkertons show up at workers houses to threaten their families?

Well unions do definitely b... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

Well unions do definitely benefit Democrat politicians' reelection coffers Hyper, but you should go to an unemloyement office and ask all the former union employees whos companies closed because they could not compete in a global economy how much they benefitted.

"That doesn't happen because rational rich people hang onto their wealth"

Well there's a difference between rich leftists who you do seem to understand well and the rest of the rich which you seem to project you own feeling onto.

"and the only Amurkan way to help the middle class is through tax breaks for high earners and corporations such that wealth might trickle down"

That's hardly the "only way", but it has been proven to help whereas unionizing hurts everyone and only helps a handful- mostly Democrat politicians and union bosses.

No, they can't. The 30% ... (Below threshold)
mantis:

No, they can't. The 30% provision is superceded by the Card Check legislation. Ask Adrian. He got his ass whooped in an argument about this and ran away with tail between his legs.

No, the organizers can still petition management when they have more than 1/3 workers sign. It's only after they get a majority that the union is automatically certified. The amendment does not remove, or nullify, the earlier provisions, it just amends them so that a majority receives automatic certification.

Mantis, once the majority h... (Below threshold)
Tim:

Mantis, once the majority has been reached, via NON-SECRET signatures, there is no chance for an election via secret ballot. None. 30% be damned. Direct from the EFCA:


Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, whenever a petition shall have been filed by an employee or group of employees or any individual or labor organization acting in their behalf alleging that a majority of employees in a unit appropriate for the purposes of collective bargaining wish to be represented by an individual or labor organization for such purposes, the Board shall investigate the petition. If the Board finds that a majority of the employees in a unit appropriate for bargaining has signed valid authorizations designating the individual or labor organization specified in the petition as their bargaining representative and that no other individual or labor organization is currently certified or recognized as the exclusive representative of any of the employees in the unit, the Board shall not direct an election but shall certify the individual or labor organization as the representative described in subsection

Mantis, once the majorit... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Mantis, once the majority has been reached, via NON-SECRET signatures, there is no chance for an election via secret ballot.

Yeah, that's why I used the word automatic.

Once again, organizers can petition management to recognize the union or hold an election once they have 1/3 of the workers' signatures. Once they have a majority of workers, it's automatic. Why is this so hard for you to understand?

Yeah, that's why I used ... (Below threshold)
Tim:

Yeah, that's why I used the word automatic.

Once again, organizers can petition management to recognize the union or hold an election once they have 1/3 of the workers' signatures. Once they have a majority of workers, it's automatic. Why is this so hard for you to understand? Because Union organizers can get 50% + 1 of the employees to sign an open petition, where everybody knows how you chose. That leaves the worker who hasn't signed wide open to intimidation. Once that magical 50% +1 is reached, the union organizers have no need to hold an election with a secret ballot. And if 30% of the workers decide, no, we'd really like to cast our ballots in secret, free from coercion, sorry, no dice.

Dammit, why don't the itali... (Below threshold)
Tim:

Dammit, why don't the italics stay where I put them?

For that matter, why does i... (Below threshold)
Tim:

For that matter, why does it tell me I posted too soon, so my post won't go through, then it does and leaves me double posted?

Because Union organizers... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Because Union organizers can get 50% + 1 of the employees to sign an open petition, where everybody knows how you chose.

And if they petition management with 30%, management then has a list of employees that support the union, whom they can intimidate or fire in order to crush the movement.

P.S. One opening and closing italics tag won't work with multiple lines. You have to tag each line, or use blockquote tags for the whole thing.

How do I blockquote here? ... (Below threshold)
Tim:

How do I blockquote here? God, I'm an idjit.

NLRA prohibits employers from retaliating against employees who vote for unionization. Doesn't mean it doesn't happen, but the employee has legal redress.

And even then, blockquotes ... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

And even then, blockquotes are 'iffy' and inconsistent on larger, multi-paragraph blocks. Best bet is to replace line feeds and CRs between paragraphs with [br][br], replacing the [ with a .

Votes? I've got no problem at all with a secret ballot. Card check? "Sign the card, Comrade, so we know where your loyalties lie!"

Tim -Just use [blo... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

Tim -

Just use [blockquote] and [/blockquote], replacing the brackets with the appropriate symbols.

And I see that even though it looked okay on preview, the posted message does NOT like a shift-comma or shift-period! Yarg!

NLRA prohibits employers... (Below threshold)
mantis:

NLRA prohibits employers from retaliating against employees who vote for unionization. Doesn't mean it doesn't happen, but the employee has legal redress.

And laws prohibit unionizers from intimidating workers. Doesn't mean it doesn't happen, but workers have legal redress.

"Doesn't mean it doesn't... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

"Doesn't mean it doesn't happen, but workers have legal redress."

Yeah, have a general meeting and have a show of hands as to who was forced to sign a card. Wouldn't that be really nice? That's about the effect - you squeal, and your life in THAT place will be a jolly one for sure!

So why not just avoid the problem in the first place? Secret ballot procedures are in place, they work - why add to them a procedure that can potentially cause trouble in the workplace and strife among the employees?

Secret ballot procedures... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Secret ballot procedures are in place, they work

Not really, no.

why add to them a procedure that can potentially cause trouble in the workplace and strife among the employees?

To address the systemic failures of the system currently in place.

I admit I am no expert in u... (Below threshold)
STaylor:

I admit I am no expert in unions or labor realtions; but wouldn't card check leave unionizers open to be intimidated by the company as well? It seems that removing a secret ballot will leave everyone open to intimidation and will likly lead to a lot of strife in the workplace. This looks to be a can worms no one should want to open.

O.k. Mantis,Lets s... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

O.k. Mantis,

Lets say that all the problems address in your link (in comment #26) are true (not that I believe that is an unbiased assessment, mind you)--that still leaves a couple questions:

(1) Is eliminating the requirement for a fair, private, democratic election going to solve those problems?

(2) Is there any other way to solve those problems without eliminating the requires for a fair, private, democratic election as the Democrats want to do?

"Thanks for the walk dow... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

"Thanks for the walk down memory lane. How about the union-busting goon squads that will attack the union organizers? What about when the Pinkertons show up at workers houses to threaten their families?"

You're right Mantis- those things the union-busters and Pinkertons did a century ago were very bad and very wrong. But you fail to realize that this undemocratic law you're now supporting will encourage those exact same behaviors to return (albeit for the opposite side of the equastio).

If it was wrong and bad then, why do you think it's good and right now>

Is eliminating the requi... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Is eliminating the requirement for a fair, private, democratic election going to solve those problems?

It certainly seems that it would address some of those problems, yes.

Is there any other way to solve those problems without eliminating the requires for a fair, private, democratic election as the Democrats want to do?

No other way has been proposed that I've heard.

But you fail to realize that this undemocratic law you're now supporting will encourage those exact same behaviors to return (albeit for the opposite side of the equastio).

Prove it.

If it was wrong and bad then, why do you think it's good and right now

Did I say that?

"Prove it"I... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

"Prove it"

I obviously can't "prove" that it's going to happen, but common sense and past experience says it will. Nothing in this legislation will stop it from happening and the legislation will definately encourage it.

"Did I say that?"

Not directly, but again the legislation you support will encourage, almost force that behavior and do nothing to stop it, so yes I say you are supporting a return to violence and intimidation just like we had a century ago. Just because it benefits your side doesn't make it any less wrong.

I obviously can't "prove... (Below threshold)
mantis:

I obviously can't "prove" that it's going to happen, but common sense and past experience says it will.

Actually, it does not. If this were "going to happen," we would already see plenty of evidence for it under the current system. Union organizers have to get 30% of the workforce to sign just to file a petition, and most unions require a higher percentage (many won't get involved until they get a majority anyway). If today's union supporters are the way you claim, they would already be intimidating workers around the country, and we would have plenty of evidence of that to point to. I've looked, and while I can find an odd story here and there, I can't find anything to support your contention.

Not directly, but again the legislation you support will encourage, almost force that behavior and do nothing to stop it,

And you're basing this on what, exactly?

" I've looked, and while... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

" I've looked, and while I can find an odd story here and there, I can't find anything to support your contention."

How foolish of me. Why if there was ever a single instance of the union bosses intimidating people into forming unions the press would be all over it. CBS, NBC, and CNN would run hour long specials. It would be the topic of all the Sunday news shows for weeks!!!

Yes, how very foolish of me. That fact that you couldn't find any stories to support my contention proves that my contention was wrong and I apologize for such foolish speculation on my part.

/sarc off

BTW, going back to that document you linked to in #26, I think all those trends reported are very good things and I don't see that as a problem that needs to be fixed.

I think all those trends... (Below threshold)
mantis:

I think all those trends reported are very good things and I don't see that as a problem that needs to be fixed.

I already knew that conservatives were against organized labor, and would like to legislate it out of existence, but thanks for abandoning your argument when you couldn't support it.

I hardly abandoned my agrum... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

I hardly abandoned my agrument. It's just impossible to prove something like this that's going to happen in the future. And my response in #33 was rather tongue in cheek after reading your silly comment in #32 about you "looking".

In all seriousness though, I doubt there are examples of the unions using voilent tactics to get people to sign their cards right now. Why? Because the workers are now protected by a secret ballot. If the unions intimidated them and used threats and violence to get them to sign the cards, as the law now stands it would essentially guarantee that the workers would vote againt the unions in the secret election that would follow. Get it? If the unions used those tactics under the current laws it would hurt them so they don't.

The Democrats want to strip those protections from the workers so there would no longer be any reason for the unions to not use force, voilence and intimidation to get their way.

But lets look at this from a different angle. Lets say there was a proposed law that said if the employers could get 50%+1 of the employees to sign a card it would automatically prevent the workers from forming a union and superceded the requirement for an election to determine whether or not the employees unionized. Would you support that legislation?

If not, why not?

Mantis,Most EFCA sup... (Below threshold)
Eric:

Mantis,
Most EFCA supporters I run across take the position that all employers act in bad faith and the unions always act in good faith.

This is a fallacy. I won't contend that employers are all lily white and all unions are thugs. There are plenty of examples of both acting reprehensibly. You can present a thousand examples of employers doing bad things and I can present a thousand examples of unions doing bad things. It would just prove that both sides do bad things.

That is precisely why EFCA is a bad idea.

EFCA is solely designed to benefit the unions. But the one party that is left out and needs the most protection is the employee.

If you truly are looking out for the interests of the employees you do not take away the one tool that protects them from all forms of intimidation, harassment and trickery.

A secret ballot election is the one place that the employee is able to express his opinion free from intimidation from either the union or the employer.

If you really want to protect the employees you should be for strengthening secret ballot elections instead of weakening them. Because taking that away from employees is the same as taking away their voices.

"conservatives were agai... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

"conservatives were against organized labor, and would like to legislate it out of existence"

I don't know about all conservatives, but I for one as a libertarian-conservative don't want to legislate them out of existence. But unlike most leftists, I believe in free choice* and fairness. I support right to work legislation for example, where people have a free, fair choice.

If unions can compete with free choice than I say more power to them. It's wrong to force someone to be a union member just because they want a particular job.

(*except when it comes do doing harm to others, of course)

I'm an independent conserva... (Below threshold)
maggie:

I'm an independent conservative, and was a
union member for 22 years. OCAW.
There sure is a lot of broad brushing and
assuming.
What would you call that? Stereotyping?

12 hours later and still no... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

12 hours later and still no reply from Mantis. Well at least we now know who really abandoned his argument when he couldn't support it. As is common, I might add.

(*except when it comes d... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

(*except when it comes do doing harm to others, of course)

That's funny, you don't normally come across as a proponent of gay marriage and legalized marijuana. Alright P.Bunyan!

Some of us do have other th... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Some of us do have other things to do, you know.

Would you support that legislation?

Sure. Sounds fair to me.

Yes Hyper, I do support gay... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

Yes Hyper, I do support gay marriage and legization of all drugs. (And prostitution, and gambling.)

And Mantis, I call bullshit on comment #41.




Advertisements









rightads.gif

beltwaybloggers.gif

insiderslogo.jpg

mba_blue.gif

Follow Wizbang

Follow Wizbang on FacebookFollow Wizbang on TwitterSubscribe to Wizbang feedWizbang Mobile

Contact

Send e-mail tips to us:

tips@wizbangblog.com

Fresh Links

Credits

Section Editor: Maggie Whitton

Editors: Jay Tea, Lorie Byrd, Kim Priestap, DJ Drummond, Michael Laprarie, Baron Von Ottomatic, Shawn Mallow, Rick, Dan Karipides, Michael Avitablile, Charlie Quidnunc, Steve Schippert

Emeritus: Paul, Mary Katherine Ham, Jim Addison, Alexander K. McClure, Cassy Fiano, Bill Jempty, John Stansbury, Rob Port

In Memorium: HughS

All original content copyright © 2003-2010 by Wizbang®, LLC. All rights reserved. Wizbang® is a registered service mark.

Powered by Movable Type Pro 4.361

Hosting by ServInt

Ratings on this site are powered by the Ajax Ratings Pro plugin for Movable Type.

Search on this site is powered by the FastSearch plugin for Movable Type.

Blogrolls on this site are powered by the MT-Blogroll.

Temporary site design is based on Cutline and Cutline for MT. Graphics by Apothegm Designs.

Author Login



Terms Of Service

DCMA Compliance Notice

Privacy Policy