Last week, AFL-CIO union czar Richard Trumka (download the Foundation's Fact Sheet on his history of condoning union violence and corruption) made headlines by predicting that the Card Check Forced Unionism Bill will pass in early 2010. The heated debate over the health care overhaul legislation has kept the public eye off this other union boss power grab for a few months, but Trumka's prediction makes it clear Big Labor's high command haven't forgotten about their highest priority.
The Card Check Forced Unionism Bill would effectively eliminate workers' right to a secret ballot in workplace unionization drives and replace it with overt union intimidation:
Under the Card Check Forced Unionism Bill, the provisions of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) that refer to the secret ballot election would be rendered a dead letter, even though they are not technically stricken from federal law.
Big Labor spin artists can claim all they want that the workers can still "choose" to have a secret ballot election, but there simply is no way by which workers can force union bosses to file for a secret ballot election -- and it is union bosses, not workers, who are in possession of the cards. Reporters who repeat this union boss talking point owe their readers a correction.
Read the full analysis here. Union bosses prefer card check instant organizing because it puts all of the power in their hands -- free from the meddling interference of government election supervisors and the workers themselves.
Fortunately, we already know what card check campaigns look like. Unfortunately, we only know this because hardworking Americans have been subjected to harassment, intimidation, and coercion by union bosses to get them to sign cards. In the video below, Dana Corporation employees in Albion, Indiana, shared their stories with the National Right to Work Committee.
The National Right to Work Committee warns to beware of any bogus compromises under the guise of protecting the secret ballot. One of the most dangerous aspect of the "compromise" talks is the lack of focus on the other toxic provision of the Card Check Forced Unionism Bill: mandatory binding arbitration.
Under the bill, workers won't just lose the right to a secret ballot when deciding whether or not to form a union. Even those who choose to join a union's ranks may see their voting rights severely limited, as mandatory binding arbitration would allow government bureaucrats to impose contracts on workers. That means union members may not even be able to vote to ratify their contracts: Whatever the government says... goes.
Even Far Left icon George McGovern knows this is a terrible idea. And as Reason Foundation analyst Shikha Dalmia detailed in the Wall Street Journal, states' experiments with mandatory binding arbitration and public sector unions have led to atrocious results -- including out of control budgets and fiscal mismanagement.