In the Sacramento Bee, Daniel Weintraub observes the legislative efforts of United Farm Workers union officials to eliminate the secret ballot elections for California’s farm workers:
Thirty years ago, legendary union organizer Cesar Chavez and the United Farm Workers made history by winning the right to a secret ballot for migrant field hands in California who wanted to join a union. Today, in an odd twist, the UFW is trying to take that right away.
The article echoes a 2001 letter written by George Miller (D-CA) and a group of other Congressmen urging Mexico to adopt the secret ballot for its unionization elections. In it Miller wrote:
[W]e feel that the secret ballot election is absolutely necessary in order to ensure that workers are not intimidated into voting for a union they might not otherwise choose.
Now Miller is the sponsor and lead advocate of Big Labor’s “card check” bill that would eliminate the secret ballot election for unionization here in America.
Sure the hypocrisy is overwhelming, but upon further review it is not so surprising.
Unions were granted powers under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) that remain unparalleled for a private organization. Among other unique special legal privileges, unions can forcibly represent people and then force those already coerced workers to pay, under threat of termination, for the unwanted “representation.”
Back when the New Deal-era NLRA passed, unions shrouded their extraordinary powers over individual workers with a secret ballot election in attempt to legitimize their ability to coerce employees.
Now, having used the forced dues collected with their extraordinary powers to amass the political influence necessary, union officials are scrapping the secret ballot altogether in an effort to further expand their power to coerce individual employees.
It’s a move Tony Soprano would be proud of.