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The card-check "travesty"

Former UNITE HERE organizer Jennifer Jason, in House testimony Feb. 8 (PDF)(via Cleary):

Frankly, it isn't difficult to agitate someone in a short period of time, work them up to the point where they are feeling very upset, tell them that I have the solution, and that if they simply sign a card, the union will solve all of their problems. I know many workers who later, upon reflection, knew that they had been manipulated and asked for their card to be returned to them. The union's strategy, of course, was never to return or destroy such cards, but to include them in the official count towards the majority.

Michael Fox at Employer's Lawyer describes the bill's title ("Employee Free Choice Act") as "deceptive advertising":

How else can you describe a proposed statute whose principal, although not only, significant restructuring of the National Labor Relations Act is to eliminate secret elections...? ... Let there be no mistake, this portion of the bill exists for one reason only - unions have been spectacularly unsuccessful in convincing voters, i.e. the employees they seek to represent in collective bargaining, that the employees would be better off with a union than without it.

And Fox asks:

It is with some irony that more than 230 members of the U.S. House of Representatives elected by secret ballot are rushing to remove that right in the workplace from the voters who elected them. How many do you think would vote to abolish elections for their own Congressional seat if another candidate could produce a petition signed by a majority of voters?

The Examiner editorializes: "Abuses of workers' true wishes not only are potential, they are guaranteed. There is no 'free choice' in this travesty".

It says a lot about the new House of Representatives, none of it favorable, that it is expected to approve the measure easily. Earlier coverage here and here.

P.S. And here's George Will:

Tellingly, the act would forbid employers from trying to influence -- pressure? -- employees by improving their lot: It would fine employers who, to reduce the incentive to unionize, give workers "unilateral'' -- not negotiated -- improvements in compensation or working conditions. Clearly, the act aims less to help workers than to herd them as dues-payers into unions.

Yet more: What does sponsoring Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.) think of the idea, anyway? And Ivan Osorio at Capital Research Center's Labor Watch offers some historical background (PDF) on why union organizers regard card-check as their great hope.



Rafael Mangual
Project Manager,
Legal Policy

Katherine Lazarski
Manhattan Institute


Published by the Manhattan Institute

The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.