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Closer to Card Check

I've written about the Employee Free Choice Act and card check several times, both here and at Townhall. Jay Tea has written about it as well. I'd be willing to bet that if you ask the first twenty people you talk to today (unless you work in Washington DC) you will be lucky to find one person who knows anything about the issue. That is pretty amazing, really. If the positions were reversed and we were looking at conservatives regaining a level of control they had not had in half a century, I am willing to bet there would be scores of reports in the media about the possible horrors to come (including, of course, the overturning of Roe v. Wade), With a filibuster-proof Democrat majority Senate a real possibility, the issue of card check is getting more and more attention, though mostly in the conservative and new media. The Wall Street Journal has a piece today about some of the things total liberal control of the government would likely bring with it, including card check:

If the current polls hold, Barack Obama will win the White House on November 4 and Democrats will consolidate their Congressional majorities, probably with a filibuster-proof Senate or very close to it. Without the ability to filibuster, the Senate would become like the House, able to pass whatever the majority wants.

Though we doubt most Americans realize it, this would be one of the most profound political and ideological shifts in U.S. history. Liberals would dominate the entire government in a way they haven't since 1965, or 1933. In other words, the election would mark the restoration of the activist government that fell out of public favor in the 1970s. If the U.S. really is entering a period of unchecked left-wing ascendancy, Americans at least ought to understand what they will be getting, especially with the media cheering it all on.
- Union supremacy. One program certain to be given right of way is "card check." Unions have been in decline for decades, now claiming only 7.4% of the private-sector work force, so Big Labor wants to trash the secret-ballot elections that have been in place since the 1930s. The "Employee Free Choice Act" would convert workplaces into union shops merely by gathering signatures from a majority of employees, which means organizers could strongarm those who opposed such a petition.

The bill also imposes a compulsory arbitration regime that results in an automatic two-year union "contract" after 130 days of failed negotiation. The point is to force businesses to recognize a union whether the workers support it or not. This would be the biggest pro-union shift in the balance of labor-management power since the Wagner Act of 1935.


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Comments (7)

VERY scary & despicable pow... (Below threshold)
Bruce Johnson:

VERY scary & despicable power grab - both by big union thugs and the Dem party. I'm rather surprised the McCain campaign isn't (to my knowledge) pushing this issue. The fact-check sites (at least the REAL ones, not 'stopthesmears' types) back them up, and they can appeal directly to the warnings of liberal icon McGovern (though, sadly, it appears that no one with any current clout on the left is willing to stand up for such a basic principle - what does THAT say about the party?!).

If, God forbid, Obama wins with a margin large enough to make such a move (though I hope even then a well-run PR effort might stop it), is there much hope and basis for a court challenge to this practice? (It would be easy to find cases of folks who opposed a union but were intimidated into checking the card.)

Lorie, you raise some inter... (Below threshold)

Lorie, you raise some interesting questions here, so I'd like to share my thoughts respectfully.

The poll numbers are still as erratic as are the daily Wall Street numbers, so I've moved back to being undecided which party will really win this election in the end. Either party can still win this election which is pretty remarkable considering the bad economic news,voter fatigue with the Bush Administration, and the lack of a clear campaign message from the McCain Campaign. Turnout by both sides will probably decide this election which will likely be closer than it really should be considering all the events and circumstances.

The Employee Free Choice Act does of course only require that the National Labor Relations Board establish a new system where either 30% of workers return cards to the NLRB that they want a union representation at their workplace, or else any complaint to the NLRB will invalidate this standard and an union election will be required and held. This is hardly eliminating union elections as some misleading TV ads sponsored by millionaire Washington lobbyist Rick Berman's front organization's have claimed. Just one complaint by anyone will require a union certification election.

The Employee Free Choice act does have bipartisan support with some Republicans such as Republican U.S. Representative Peter King signed on as co-sponsors. This bill has nothing to do with partisanship. It is entirely about workers seeking better wages, safer working conditions, better health care and retirement benefits in this uncertain economy, as well as the better job security that union representation brings.

Union members represent every political party and split their votes accordingly. And all candidates for public office have equal and open opportunities to address labor union sponsored events such as picnics or conferences and ask for support. If less republicans gain union endorsements than in the past, it is only because fewer have sought out labor union support or some have records less supportive of the concerns of the average working persons needs than in the past. If a Republican candidate for office really wants union support they could probably get it with a decent moderate voting record on such issues. Republican candidates for office could certainly do better than their current 3-11% political endorsements or campaign donations from most labor unions if they made a real attempt to appeal to those unions.

With the economy being so bad right now, and so many American families hurting economically and an election in which the Republicans will need the votes of many working families in order to win this election, it sure seems odd if any Republican candidate will attack working families getting better wages, health or retirement benefits at this time. Republicans should be more concerned about presenting a credible message to working people why to trust them on economic issues at this critical time if they want to get elected.

I just don't see how it benefits Republican candidates for office to get in the middle of this Employee Free Choice Act discussion right now. In fact, most candidates, Republican and Democrat seem to recognize this fact and are not discussing this issue which is a real distraction to larger more important economic issues right now. After the election, it is always possible for this Employee Free Choice bill to be rewritten to satisfy any concerns such as the minor card check provision which is only a small part of a larger enforcement bill that strengthens laws against employer wiretapping or intimidation of employees who are interested in union representation. Nearly every bill in congress is either rewritten or new language added you know by the final vote you know.

Lorie, I do have one off-issue question here. Have you seen the great new CBS drama, THE MENTALIST, yet? This great new show strangely more than borrows many plot elements from PSYCH and even somewhat strangely, MONK, and with great success. Australian actor Simon Baker is suave and cool in this role which is easily his best TV series ever. It's just a plain great show in my view and is so far a huge success with viewers and ratings.

My husband and I LOVE The M... (Below threshold)
Lorie Byrd:

My husband and I LOVE The Mentalist. My first thought was of Psych too. The most recent episode was not nearly as good as the first ones, but still good. It is excellent. The show I am going to have to buy on DVD is Dexter. I don't get Showtime, but watched the entire first season on CBS and saw the first episode of the second season on a Showtime Sampler OnDemand. They are now offering the third season premiere free On Demand, but since I have not seen the second season yet I won't watch it, but it is driving me crazy. If funds were not soooo tight right now (we are still paying for my daughter's last 3 surgeries) I would buy it. I guess I'll ask Santa for it. We have been watching Fringe too. That is pretty good -- an "X Files" with more regular characters. I really, really miss Journeyman. It was great. We watched the first episode of Life on Mars, which is kinda like Journeyman, but we were disappointed by it. Raising the Bar is another new show that I really, really like.

Yes I am a television junkie. There are other new shows we are watching too, but that is enough tv talk.

Lorie, I recently bought al... (Below threshold)

Lorie, I recently bought all three years of GILLIGAN'S ISLAND on DVD because these episodes are now being aired less than in the past and sometimes I just need to laugh after all the sadness of losing both parents and the family dog during a 90 day period in late 2007.

Season one contains a real gem, an unaired pilot episode in which the Professor, Mary Ann and Ginger are replaced with three less appealing characters.

Very strangely, in the first real CBS aired episode, the opening scene of TWO MEN ON A RAFT features these three other actors from the pilot clearly seen in the shipwrecked Minnow boat. But then in the next scene they disappear and the Professor, Mary Ann and Ginger are on the island instead. This is a great continuity error.

If you like continuity errors in movies as well, the greatest has to be from KING KONG from 1933, in which most of the native actors on Kong's island were actually white actors in blackface. In the scene where Kong breaks through the gate on the island, one of the extras dressed as a native falls off the end of the set in the corner of the screen and gets his wig pulled off by a part of chicken-wire set. You can clearly see that the extra was a blond haired white guy in blackface where the makeup ends and this guy is clearly seen jumping up and down in the corner of the screen trying to get his wig back which is hanging in the chickenwire. You'll laugh so hard at this, I swear. It's simply the most funny thing I've ever seen in a classic quality film. Of course a bad film like PLAN NINE FROM OUTER SPACE has plenty of problems, 88 of them in fact, but it wasn't a great film like KING KONG.

I can certainly understand medical problems with a child draining so much cash. My sister was born with some significant birth defect issues and required extensive facial reconstructive surgeries. When I was a kid up through high school, my parent's had to spend so much money on doctor's bills. It was only in later years after most of these surgeries that my dad's bakery finally unionized and health benefits later covered 80% or more of any new nonprexisting medical bills and conditions, but by then, I began to have a series of medical problems myself and required many hospitalizations myself. It was very frustrating to my parents to have first one child who required extensive surgery and then another with illness issues as well. Sometimes life can be very tough. I still can't eat normally like anyone else, but I enjoy riding one of my motorbikes to forget about all my troubles with the loss of my family members, dog and ongoing health issues.

God bless you Lorie, and your family. Hang in there. Better days will be coming for you. Hopefully, one day all the problems will be long behind you and a distant memory. Great TV sure makes a pleasant distraction for anyone.

My sister-in-law is a lifel... (Below threshold)

My sister-in-law is a lifelong member of the retail clerks union. She has worked in the same store with the same people for over a decade. They laugh, tell jokes and go to each others dinner parties and barbecues. Then a few years ago there was a strike. The union thugs vandalized employees cars and their store. They made threats and one person got threatening phone calls late at night. My sister-in-law was a big union booster when she was in her 20's, but 30 years later she very quietly supports the right to work free of union thuggism.

Tyree, certainly those crim... (Below threshold)

Tyree, certainly those criminal acts are wrong and should be prosecuted as crimes. But they are the acts of individual workers during a strike and certainly not organized by any labor union itself.

Workers have no business being so angry when they choose to go out on a rare strike. Most disputes over wages or benefits are resolved without such a difficult situation like a strike which hurts both the business and the workers. But overall most union activity is good and helped to pay for many family medical costs over the years and allowed my parents to afford to buy three homes, travel to London and Paris, and have substantial savings in the bank. These are all things that some poor nonunion worker at Walmart living on the minimum wage will never realize in their working lifetime, although they will work just as hard as their higher paid union counterparts but just not be compensated as well or share in the American dream.

"Tyree, certainly those ... (Below threshold)

"Tyree, certainly those criminal acts are wrong and should be prosecuted as crimes. But they are the acts of individual workers during a strike and certainly not organized by any labor union itself."

Yeah, the thuggish mentality is certainly not - representative - of any union.

"These are all things that some poor nonunion worker at Walmart living on the minimum wage will never realize in their working lifetime,..."

Yeah, because we all know that Walmart should be responsible for making sure their employees can buy three homes and travel abroad.






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