The So-called Employee Free Choice Act
and the preservation of secret ballot elections

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Despite repeated failures, Card Check [is] still [a] top Big Labor priority.  Gary Casteel of the United Auto Workers had been working for years to organize a Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga, Tenn.  Last September, he proudly declared that UAW had already won. [...] But it didn't turn out that way.  On Feb. 14, 2014, plant employees rejected the UAW, 712-626, with 89 percent of the 1,550 eligible voters turning out.  The defeat was not just an embarrassment for the UAW.  It was an indictment of the Card Check union election process Casteel and the UAW almost persuaded VW to accept.

Big Labor turns left even as workers, lawmakers form new union models for the future.  Without Card Check, it is difficult to see how Big Labor survives over the long term as it is presently structured.  Big Labor knows it, too.  Before its 2013 convention, the AFL-CIO surveyed its members and found that even they believe Big Labor's model is outdated.

The Regulatory Landscape in America — A Morass Of Red Tape.  In April, the National Labor Relations Board issued new rules that shorten the time allowed for union-organizing elections to between 10 and 21 days.  This leaves little time for employees to make a fully informed choice on unionizing, threatening to leave workers and management alike under unwanted union regimes.

Virginia Moves to Make Card-Check Unconstitutional.  Virginia is moving towards making card-check — the controversial union proposal to replace secret-ballot elections with simple card-signing petitions — unconstitutional in the state.  The effort is led by State Sen. Bryce Reeves (R-Spotsylvania) who said that "no citizen" should be denied the ability to vote by secret ballot.

Trumka: Card check will happen in second Obama term.  The legislation would make it easier for labor unions to organize by abolishing the secret ballot — and was a top labor priority during Obama's first term.  And it's one of the enduring sources of tension between the labor movement and the Obama administration.

Obama's Lawless Bureaucracy Now Trying To Deliver an Unconstitutional Advantage to Big Labor.  A "rule" — written by unelected bureaucrats — proposes that a vote on unionization must occur quickly after the union's request of such. [...] Why is Obama's bureaucracy pushing this?  Because a union might be campaigning for unionization a year before they ask for a vote.  If they ask for a snap election, the company has no time to lobby against it.

Ambush Election Vote.  [U]nelected bureaucrats in Washington, D.C. are less concerned with job creation and instead focused on paying back union bosses who were President Obama's top political contributor in 2008 and have committed more than $400 million in support of his campaign in 2012.  In cutting the amount of time for union organizing elections at least in half, Obama's labor board has taken steps to implement by regulatory fiat the failed Employee 'Forced' Choice Act, which does not have support in Congress and is adamantly opposed by the American public.

Can the U.S. tolerate more help from the Labor Department?  When the president took office, his No. 1 labor priority was to advocate for a union-favored election tactic called "card check," which would have eliminated secret ballots in union organizing campaigns. ... There are two things that are especially astounding about this idea.  The first is that it was advocated by a black president who no doubt is keenly aware of our shameful history of voter intimidation prior to the Civil Rights Act (and probably since).  The second is that it was proposed at the same time the government was trying to rescue the auto industry from the unsustainable union contracts that had bankrupted two of our three largest car companies.

Voting Rights? It All Depends.  [Scroll down]  But the labor unions who provided much of the support and, one suspects, most of the meagre manpower for yesterday's march are no less hypocritical.  SEIU's banners were prominently displayed, and representatives of SEIU and the United Federation of Teachers spoke at the rally.  SEIU's spokeswoman said:  ["]Voting rights are being challenged all across the United States.  People have died for the right to vote.  We can't just sit by and let our rights be taken from us.["]  This is rich, coming from an organization whose number one legislative priority is card check — abolishing the worker's right to a secret ballot in union certification elections, so that coercion and intimidation can replace free elections.  If there is a single organization in the United States as corrupt and hypocritical as our labor unions, I can't think what it could be.

Connecticut Governor Enacts Card Check Through Executive Order.  Continuing a fiat governance style that is right out of the Obama playbook, Democratic and Working Families Party Governor Dannel Malloy issued two executive orders yesterday that will force daycare providers and home healthcare workers in Connecticut to join unions.

Obama NLRB Eliminates Secret Ballot Elections.  Outgoing NLRB Chair Wilma Liebman and the of the Obama Appointed NLRB Board members, Craig Becker and Mark Pearce, voted to eliminate secret ballot election protections.  Now, when employers make secrets deals with a union bosses agreeing to recognize a union without allowing his employees a secret ballot vote; employees no longer have the right to force an NLRB secret ballot election and allow workers to decide if they want the union or not.

Three NLRB decisions 'will kill jobs and force business closures,' critics say.  On Tuesday [8/30/2011] the National Labor Relations Board announced three new decisions that industry experts say will likely hurt the economy and cost American jobs.  The first and likely most controversial NLRB ruling overturned a 2007 decision that gave workers nationwide the right to protect themselves from union bosses' bullying and coercive tactics with secret ballot elections.

Employee Free Choice Act becoming law.  In 2010, organized labor condemned the bipartisan vote in the United States Senate that killed the Employee Free Choice Act.  Employees, prematurely, celebrated the fact that their right to a secret ballot in elections determining union representation was secure.  EFCA, or the "card check" bill, would have eliminated the sacred right of employees to participate in their union elections by secret ballot.

"Card Check" Used To Unionize Unsuspecting Mass. Teachers.  Now we know why unionists were fighting so hard for a federal "card check" law.  Organizers can unionize private and public employees, forcing them to pay hundreds in union dues, before they even know anything about it.  That's the situation at the Cape Cod Lighthouse Charter School in Orleans, Massachusetts.

Union Myths:  The biggest myth about labor unions is that unions are for the workers.  Unions are for unions, just as corporations are for corporations and politicians are for politicians.  Nothing shows the utter cynicism of the unions and the politicians who do their bidding like the so-called "Employee Free Choice Act" that the Obama administration tried to push through Congress.  Employees' free choice as to whether or not to join a union is precisely what that legislation would destroy.  Workers already have a free choice in secret-ballot elections conducted under existing laws.  As more and more workers in the private sector have voted to reject having a union represent them, the unions' answer has been to take away secret-ballot elections.

Union 'Card Check' Smokescreen for Lame Duck Pension Bailout.  Big Labor is pouring money into two Democratic U.S. Senate races, attempting to secure a union pension bailout during a lame duck session of Congress.

Feds threaten to sue states over union laws.  The National Labor Relations Board on Friday [1/14/2011] threatened to sue Arizona, South Carolina, South Dakota and Utah over constitutional amendments guaranteeing workers the right to a secret ballot in union elections.

The Editor says...
Imagine that.  The federal government is threatening to file a lawsuit to prevent secret ballot elections.

It's Time To Protect Secret Ballots.  We've discussed the ridiculously misnamed "Employee Free Choice Act" that would take away the right to private ballots for employees deciding whether to join unions and instead install a flawed "card check" scheme.  And we've told you about efforts to achieve similar goals through decisions at President Obama's National Labor Relations Board, including the Board's threat to sue four states where voters decided at the polls that they wanted to protect the secret ballot.

Big Labor's Attack on the States:  Last Friday [1/14/2011], the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) announced its intentions to sue four states — Arizona, South Carolina, South Dakota and Utah — to overturn voter-approved amendments requiring any attempts to unionize a workplace be done with the same secret ballot system used for general elections.  The NLRB contends such amendments conflict with federal law and that federal law "pre-empts" them.

Protect workers from union bosses.  Labor unions can't persuade Congress to destroy workplace voting rights, but their Obama-appointed lackeys at the National Labor Relations Board do their dirty work anyway.  Twice in the past six weeks, the NLRB has sided with union bosses over ordinary workers, smothering the ideal of secret elections.

A referendum on Obama.  President Obama has sought to pay back the union bosses who were critical to his election, and Big Labor's top demand is the enactment of card-check legislation during a lame-duck session of Congress.  This law would allow union thugs to scrutinize how individual employees vote on questions of union representation.  As labor leaders are not known for their subtlety, this gives rise to the obvious concern that threats and coercion would be used to compel the desired outcome.

The Extremism of Barbara Boxer.  Senator Boxer supports the Employee Free Choice Act, also known as Card Check.  The title of this proposed legislation is Orwellian in that its effect would be to deprive workers of their right to determine their futures through free elections.  If passed, Card Check would eliminate the rights workers currently enjoy to a federally supervised secret ballot when determining whether or not to unionize.  In place of free and fair elections, workers would be asked to check and sign cards in full view of union organizers and coworkers.

Obama:  Pro-Union 'Card Check' Dead, So We'll Use Regulation.  During a backyard event with some supporters in Fairfax, Va., today [9/13/2010], President Obama conceded something that all observers of Big Labor politics in Washington have known for a while:  "Card check" legislation is dead.  But he told supporters of the law not to worry since the administration has other ways of doing this.

The Union Campaign Against Secret Ballot Elections.  Facing declining membership, union officials have turned to a highly questionable practice of organizing new members through a process called "card check."  With card checks, paid union organizers try to persuade workers to sign cards saying that they favor union representation.  This persuasion is documented as frequently including deception, coercion, and harassing visits to workers' homes.

Electronic Card Check Could be Substituted for Unpopular Legislation.  Union officials are working in concert with their allies in the Obama Administration to implement an electronic version of "card check" that would jeopardize voter confidentiality and open the way for coercive anti-democratic tactics, according to free market groups.  Under the card check scheme included as part of the Employee Free Choice Act, the National Labor Relations Board would be required to certify a union without a secret ballot election once labor representatives obtained signatures from 51 percent of a company's workforce.  In practice, this means workers would no longer have the opportunity to debate the merits of a particular union and to cast their votes in private.  Moreover, union bosses would be in control of the cards and would know who signed for and against representation.

In the Tank for Big Labor.  While the president has failed to enact the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) — the mother of all pro-union legislation which includes the infamous "card check" proposal to effectively eliminate the secret ballot from union elections — he has made it possible for labor leaders to implement EFCA provisions by other means.  Through the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), for instance.  The NLRB conducts union elections and remedies unfair labor practices in most industries; Obama has named two pro-union members to this body — both were radical enough to require recess appointments.

Card-check lives:  'A lot of things can happen in a lame-duck session'.  Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, is so determined to reward Democrats' labor union donors that he is now openly discussing the possibility of passing pro-union legislation after voters have already rendered a verdict on the union-friendly 111th Congress.

Big Labor is humbled by Blanche Lincoln's win.  Union leaders desperately need Congress to pass their card check bill, which would effectively abolish the secret ballot in unionization elections.  Card check would allow union thugs, er, organizers to collect signatures on cards of a majority of employees and then, presto, the union would be recognized as bargaining agent, and dues money would come pouring in.  It isn't now, at least at the rate union leaders would like.  Last January the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that union membership in 2009 was at an all-time low since the 1930s.

Lincoln Wins this Round; Big Labor Suffers Big Loss.  But it's more than just the money.  It's a rejection of the ideas the unions are peddling.  The unions wanted this election.  Bill Halter, Lincoln's Democratic primary opponent, is for card check.  Lincoln is not.  Card check is the unions' signature issue.  This election is just weeks after big labor suffered another major loss.  In Pennsylvania, big labor wanted Arlen Specter, offering money and institutional support.  That didn't matter to the voters, who elected not to send Specter back to Washington.

Primary Lessons.  [Senator Blanche] Lincoln drew Big Labor's wrath for heresies like opposing "card check" legislation, which would have eliminated secret ballots to facilitate union organizing.  As payback, unions, aided by a battery of progressive political action groups, put their full political clout into the race, sponsoring Halter to the tune of $10 million.  But while the lavishly funded challenge did force Lincoln into a runoff, the unions' purchasing power came up short.  As one agonized Obama White House official told Politico:  "Organized labor just flushed $10 million of their members' money down the toilet on a pointless exercise."

A few words about the Secret Ballot.  In the era before the Australian "secret ballot" came to America, voting could be a tricky — and often violent — proposition.  Goons from such big-city machines as Boss Tweed's Tammany Hall knew how you voted, and if you knew what was good for you, you voted the right way.  All that changed with the secret ballot.  What you did behind the curtain stayed behind the curtain.  American elections got a lot cleaner and fairer.  But with an absentee ballot, party activists can "assist" you in filling out those ballots as they cannot "assist" you at your local polling place.  The possibility for intimidation increases exponentially once those in power — or those who lust for power — know how you are voting.

Warning!  Card check isn't dead.  Big Labor's bosses sort of got lost in recent months amid the hubbub about Obamacare and, more recently, reforming Wall Street, but they're still out there, actively lobbying their Democrat friends in Congress and the White House, and pushing their agenda.  That is why it is never smart politics to forget about things like the laughably misnamed Employee Free Choice Act — aka "card check" — because just when it looks like the bosses' top legislative priority is dead, it's not.

Card Check By Fiat?  Republican senators have warned the president not to appoint Craig Becker to the National Labor Relations Board while Congress is in recess.  But he will — and American workers and consumers will be worse off for it.

Union Chain Mail:  A Card Check Cautionary Tale.  Over at the Washington Examiner, Mark Hemingway highlights a case which shows just how the Employee Free Choice Act might work in practice if it were ever enacted.  The act would make union organizing radically easier by replacing federally monitored elections with alternate methods...

Radicals to rule us all.  [Craig] Becker is a labor lawyer who has pledged to force "card check" on the nation's workplaces, which would end the right to work without being a union member.  Instead of secret-ballot elections determining whether a workplace would be unionized, which preserves the employees' freedom to disagree, card check would automatically unionize a workplace if a majority of employees signed a form or card.  That would be done under the watchful eye of union goons, of course.  No pressure there.

What Was That Line About the Tree of Liberty and the Blood of Tyrants?  [Scroll down]  The fact is that, unlike conservatives, modern liberals have had little quarrel with political violence.  This is best demonstrated by their support for card check legislation, the entire point of which it to abolish the secret ballot so that union goons can use the threat of violence to extend union power and thereby enrich the Democratic Party.  (If you doubt the truth of that proposition, try to think of another reason why the Democrats want to eliminate the secret ballot in union elections.)  The beating of Kenneth Gladrey by union goons — more specifically, the lack of any interest in it by anyone in the Democratic Party, the media, or on the Left generally — shows how hypocritical the Democrats' current pacifism is.

There was Card Check, now it's forced unionism from the National Mediation Board.  Big Labor is covering its bets against the likelihood that President Obama and the Democratic majority in Congress won't be able to deliver Card Check to kill the secret ballot in workplace representation elections.  The sidebet is at the three-member National Mediation Board.

Even Union Members Don't Want Government Intrusion Into Their Lives.  Union bosses continue to push and pressure their benefactors on Capitol Hill in an effort to secure passage of the job-killing Employee 'Forced' Choice Act or EFCA.  But new polling data from Nevada reveals that even the rank and file don't want EFCA and Congress would be wise to heed the voice of Big Labor's own members.

Unions, Lenin, and the American Way (Part I).  The "card-check" debates in the U.S. Congress reminded me of my own experiences with trade unions in the USSR, where organized labor was part of the official establishment and union membership was universal and mandatory.  It also reminded me of how that system's seemingly magnanimous goals — fairness, economic equality, and social justice — in real life brought forth a rigged game of wholesale corruption, forced inequality, and grotesque injustice.  Years later, the same Orwellian misnomers are catching up with me in America.

Obama And His Appointees Dismantling US.  [Scroll down]  This radicalism pervades every corner of the White House and Mr. Obama's appointments.  Take Craig Becker, an Obama appointee to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).  He was a union lawyer, who was associate general counsel of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU).  The SEIU is the union with close connections to the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN), the corrupt group of community organizers best known for voter fraud and extortion and intimidation of lenders.  Mr. Becker helped lay the groundwork for the Employee Fair Choice Act (EFCA).  That is the proposed law that would do away with the secret ballot in union elections and would permit federally designated bureaucrats to determine employment terms if a union and employer did not reach a prompt agreement.

30% Say It's Okay To Form A Union Without A Secret Vote, 52% Disagree.  Thirty percent (30%) of Americans say it is fair to form a union without having a secret ballot vote if a majority of a company's workers sign a card saying they want to unionize.  But a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 52% of adults do not believe it is fair to form a union without a secret vote.  Eighteen percent (18%) are not sure.

EFCA:  The Ultimate Payoff To Labor Bosses.  A massive union takeover is imminent should the Employee 'Forced' Choice Act (EFCA) become law.  A new report released by the Workforce Fairness Institute reveals that enactment of EFCA would fuel a significant increase in labor union spending on political activity.  EFCA's passage could add at least $1.7 billion (in 2009 dollars) in additional political spending by labor unions over a 10-year period based on a union projection of increases in total membership and the resulting union dues generated from that increase going to political activity.

Big Labor vs. Democrats.  As "card check" grows more unpopular, congressional Democrats will soon have to choose between the powerful unions and their constituents.

Unions could spend billions more under card check, study says.  Dues paid by millions of new members will fuel a massive increase in political spending by organized labor if the Employee Free Choice Act (aka Card Check) becomes law, according to the Workforce Fairness Institute (WFI). ... Only 12.4 percent of the nation's workers are union members, according to government data, but union leaders like Andy Stern of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) project passage of Card Check would add 1.5 million new unionists annually for more than a decade.  Such an increase would hike union income by more than $637 million every year, and would enable unions to spend an additional $11.7 billion on partisan political activity, WFI said.

The Editor says...
That sums it up nicely.  The EFCA is not for the benefit of the workers, it is a means of raising money for the Democrats.

Employee Free Choice Act could jeopardize "Right to Work" laws, Cantor Says.  Right to Work laws that allow employees to refrain from joining a union or paying union dues could be jeopardized over the long term, if the Employee Free Choice Act (also known as Card Check) were to become law, according to Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.).  Cantor's concern is shared by other small business and free market advocates who view Card Check as a vehicle to accelerate unionization efforts in the 22 states that now have Right to Work laws including Virginia.

Card-Check Is a Trojan Horse.  In its original form, the mendaciously misnamed and thoroughly anti-democratic Employee Free Choice Act would strip American workers of the right to conduct secret-ballot elections on the question of whether to organize a union.  In place of a traditional one-man/one-vote secret ballot, the EFCA would impose a regime of union-boss thuggery known as "card-check," wherein labor organizers (who may also be the employees' supervisors) pressure workers to sign off on a union-organizing petition, a much easier way to reach a serviceable majority.

Showdown nears on Employee Free Choice Act.  In 2007, Sens. Byron Dorgan and Kent Conrad gave their support to a bill known as the Employee Free Choice Act, a measure that sought to make it easier for unions to organize.  The bill died in the Senate when its supporters could not muster enough votes to end a Republican filibuster, sending labor interests back to the drawing board.

Labor unions find themselves card-checkmated.  No legislation is more important to the unions than the Employee Free Choice Act, which would ease the rules for forming bargaining units and, union leaders believe, help the depleted labor movement gain new members.  Under its core provisions, unions could start a new bargaining unit at a company if a majority of workers simply signed cards requesting one, a process known as "card check."

Labor secretary leaves card check up to Congress.  Labor Secretary Hilda Solis supports the Employee Free Choice Act, a spokeswoman clarified today, even as she is leaving to Congress the best way to proceed on the thorny issue.

Another Dagger to 'Card Check'.  Less than two weeks after Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.) became the first Senate Democrat to announce her opposition to the labor-friendly Employee Free Choice Act, Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.) is threatening to withhold his support as well...

Labor pushes Wall St. on card check.  The labor movement is taking square aim at Wall Street with a new tool in its fight to pass the Employee Free Choice Act:  the hundreds of billions of dollars in pension funds it manages for union workers and retirees, some of it held by the same firms that are fighting the provision known as "card check."

Dirty Money Watch:  Rep. Lloyd Doggett, D-TX.  WHO:  Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-Texas), a co-sponsor of the Employee Free Choice Act (aka Card Check)  WHAT:  Rep. Doggett received the following dirty money:  Communication Workers of America (PAC) $10,000 in 2008 election cycle; $10,000 in 2006 election cycle.  Boilermakers Union (PAC) $2,500; $1,500 in 2006 election cycle.  American Federation of Government Employees (PAC) $2,500 in 2008 election cycle; $2,000 in 2006 election cycle.  International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (PAC) $10,000 in 2008...

Beware of Mandatory Arbitration in Card Check.  The labor unions' drive for the full card check bill seems to have foundered. ... But the unions may have a fallback position:  Forget about the secret ballot, and try to pass a bill with mandatory federal arbitration.  This might be easier to defend.  Every American knows what the secret ballot is; few Americans know what mandatory arbitration means.

The 'Free Choice' Act Is Anything But.  The recent news that Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter has become a member of the Democratic caucus has given new life to legislation that many thought had been put to rest for this Congress — the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA).  Last year, I wrote on these pages that I was opposed to this bill because it would eliminate secret ballots in union organizing elections.  However, the bill has an additional feature that isn't often mentioned but that is just as troublesome — compulsory arbitration.

The Corruption of Card Check: Ohio Union FAKES Member's Signature Cards.  One of the more objectionable features of the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) is the card check feature wherein a union can simply gather publicly signed cards by employees agreeing to become unionized, thereby eliminating the secret vote for the workers.  Opponents say this process is ripe for union abuse leaving workers open to any sort of intimidation and quashing their vote of conscience.  If any more evidence of how corrupt the card check system could be were needed, one need only look at a recent union organizer in Ohio to see the abuse that will happen with card check.

Unionization Toll Is High Enough Without Throwing In 'Card Check'.  What do the Big Three automakers, big city newspapers and the U.S. Postal Service have in common?  All are hemorrhaging money, all are in danger of insolvency ... and all are unionized.

Card Check congressmen won't talk about their tainted labor money.  Seventeen congressmen representing both political parties who are sponsors of organized labor's top legislative priority for 2009 refuse to say if they will keep contributions from unions with significant internal corruption problems. ... Among the five unions, there were a total of 71 convictions in federal courts since 2001 of felonies ranging from embezzlement and mail fraud to falsifying official reports to government and conspiracy.

Card Check Bill Will Cost Blacks Their Jobs, Says Black Chamber of Commerce.  If a union-boosting bill is passed by Congress later this year, it could cost members of the African American community their jobs, members of a panel hosted by the National Black Chamber of Congress (NBCC) said at the National Press Club on Tuesday [2/24/2009].  The Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) or "card check" bill, is heavily favored by labor unions and their Democratic allies.

Communist Groups Support Card Check.  The labor policies of the Obama administration and the Democratic Party controlled Congress are being praised in certain quarters.  Some see this praise as an indication of the Democrats' true agenda.  The appointment of Hilda Solis as Labor Secretary was noted with accolades on the Web site of the Communist Party USA (CPUSA). ... The CPUSA has also been a longtime supporter for the Employee Free Choice Act — also known as card check.

The End of the Secret Ballot.  Whether the misleadingly named Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) — known as "card check" — is introduced in the next hour or next year, it remains the central political objective of organized labor.  It was also championed as a domestic priority by President Barack Obama and congressional Democrats during the 2008 campaign.  The EFCA would undercut the idea of a secret ballot in unionization drives and guarantee mandatory arbitration of many initial collective bargaining agreements.  Canada's experience with card check illustrates how it could further hobble the U.S. economy.

Labor Bill Faces Threat in Senate.  Key Senate Democrats are wavering in their support of legislation that would give more power to labor unions, dealing a setback to labor's top priority as businesses warn of the damage the bill would cause.

Unions gooning it up for card check.  Union groups hope to use their influence with the Administration and Congress to control the debate over card check.  Anyone have a problem with groups that helped Barack Obama win the Presidency asking the IRS to investigate card check opponents?  Both the AFL-CIO and Change to Win (headed by Anna Burger, the secretary-treasurer of the Service Employees International Union) have asked the IRS to investigate one of the country's largest antiunion advocacy groups, the Center for Union Facts.

They Did What?  Granted, Big Labor has not gotten off to a flying start with its campaign to convince congressmen to take away the secret ballot from workers, but now they really have outdone themselves.  The AFL-CIO is publicly saying that it will back Arlen Specter if he will support card check.  This is remarkably dumb for at least three reasons.

Save the secret ballot for voting on unions.  Secret ballot voting is one of those things Americans hold sacred.  When asked to decide an issue by a majority vote, we prefer to cast our ballots in private and decide for ourselves whether we want to tell the world where we stand.  Workers would lose that right if Congress pushes through the card check legislation introduced this week at the urging of the nation's labor unions.

'Card check' bill on the way.  House and Senate Democrats will introduce a bill to ease rules on labor union elections as soon as Tuesday, thrusting Congress into one of the biggest battles ever between business and labor and putting moderates in the hot seat as no other piece of legislation has this year.

Card Check:  Good for Unions, Bad for America.  The Obama administration's budget is full of proposals that threaten to weaken our staggering economy.  Higher taxes on high earners and reduced deductions for their charitable contributions and mortgage interests.  A cap-and-trade system that will impose higher costs on everyone who uses electricity.  A national health insurance program that will take $600 billion or so out of the private-sector economy.  But the most grievous threat to future prosperity may be off-budget — the inaptly named Employee Free Choice Act.

No Use For Unions.  In the same week legislation that would kill the secret ballot used to form a union is introduced, a poll finds fewer than one in 10 non-union workers wants to join a union.  No wonder coercion is necessary.

Unionize or Die.  The Employee Free Choice Act, a bill that would allow unions to organize worksites without secret-ballot elections, was introduced in Congress last week.  And this week, we saw how far Big Labor will go to pass it.

Card Check Means Union Slavery.  Suppose to vote in state and national elections you weren't allowed a secret ballot behind a curtain.  Suppose to vote you had to go downtown and vote in the baseball stadium, where your choices would be flashed on the scoreboard, before a howling mob.  Your boss, and your co-workers, and your neighbors would all know who you voted for.  That is how the unions and liberal Democrats want to change the law in regard to employees choosing whether they want a union.

Card Check Process Used by Union Organizers Ignites Fury at Indiana Plant.  A bill working its way through Congress that changes how employees can create and join unions is facing tough criticism from workers who say it gives unions the green light to use aggressive tactics to get them to sign up. ... Workers at the Dana Corporation Auto Parts plant in Albion, Ind., say the card check process has nearly torn the 50-person plant apart after harassment and intimidation from the United Auto Workers union forced them to a secret-ballot vote.

Pennsylvania Senator Specter to oppose card check.  In a setback for organized labor, Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter said Tuesday he will oppose a bill that would make it easier for workers to form unions.  Specter was the only Republican to support the Employee Free Choice Act two years ago, and unions were hoping he might be the crucial 60th vote needed to overcome an expected GOP filibuster of the measure when it's taken up this summer.

Republicans Introduce Bill to Preserve Secret Ballots in Union Organizing.  Congressional Republicans led by Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) announced Wednesday that they are sponsoring legislation to protect the right of workers to have a secret ballot when they are deciding whether they want a labor union to represent them.  The bill is designed to counter the proposed union-backed Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) — a bill the Republicans say would destroy the secret ballot system currently used in union organizing.

Playing Nicely to Take Away the Secret Ballot.  Today we got mixed messages on the progress of the Employee Free Choice Act.  First, as if hot off the presses, at the ALF-CIO (sic) we learn:  "With successful passage of the $787 billion stimulus package in their rearview mirror, organized labor is returning to their top political priority:  convincing Congress and the President to pass and sign the Employee Free Choice Act, or card check, which would remove significant barriers to unionizing." ... That "barrier" to unionization is the secret ballot, in case it wasn't crystal clear from that bit of propaganda.

Orwell Knew.  For several decades, employees have enjoyed the right to join a union by voting on the issue with a secret ballot.  EFCA would dramatically alter the system of voting on the union question. Rather than casting secret ballots, workers would be asked to sign authorization cards expressing their desire to join a union.  These cards would be signed in the open, without the benefit of privacy.  The legislation also imposes penalties on employers who illegally interfere with organization drives.  On the other hand, there are no penalties for labor unions for illegal interference.

SEIU's Pay-for-Play Scandal.  A diverse array of players, including SEIU, President-elect Barack Obama, indicted Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, and scandal-plagued activist group ACORN, are wielding their political power to push for passage of the deceptively-named Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA), which would effectively eliminate secret ballot union elections.  The bill would expose employees to intimidation and coercion, and should really be called the Employee Forced Choice Act.

Labor unions are preparing their wish lists.  Having helped Barack Obama win the White House and the Democratic Party expand control of Congress, unions are ready to tackle a wish list that has gotten crumpled and faded.  At the top:  the Employee Free Choice Act, which would make it easier for workers to join unions -- therefore ensuring the very survival of the House of Labor during the nationwide economic crisis.

Unions' Creepy Push Against Secret Ballot.  The first campaign promise Barack Obama should break is to push through the Employee Free Choice Act.  That harmless sounding piece of legislation would let union organizers do an end run around secret-ballot elections:  Companies would have to recognize a union if most workers signed cards in support of it.  We're not children here.  We know how those majorities can be reached.  There's repeated harassment, bullying and more inventive tactics, such as getting workers drunk, then sliding sign-up cards under their noses.  Meanwhile, any strong-armed tactics by employers can be dealt with.

Labor Goes for the Brass Ring.  Organized labor spent tens of millions of dollars and untold man hours to help elect a Democratic Congress in 2006.  So far the pay-off has been modest.  But with the presidency at stake, unions are expected to spend up to $360 million by November, more than twice as much as four years ago.  At the top of labor's agenda is the misnamed Employee Free Choice Act, which would deny employees the opportunity to vote before a union takes over their workplace.

Secrets Are No Fun for Unions.  Who are you voting for this fall?  The answer to that question is none of my business.  In fact, it is a fundamental American right to have your vote be as private as you wish.  Unfortunately, Democrats and their financiers, Big Labor, want to abolish a worker's fundamental, American right to a secret ballot.  Why are they doing this?  Maybe because Democrats have openly admitted they owe their 2006 electoral success to Big Labor and have promised the elimination of the secret ballot as a return on investment.

Viva la Secret Ballot!  This is all preliminary, mostly because I made the mistake of taking German instead of Spanish in high school, but if Google Translator is correct, it appears the Mexican Supreme Court has ruled that secret ballots are necessary in union elections.

Big Labor's Bill to End Secret Ballots Gains Momentum.  In April, then-Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama said in Philadelphia, "I've fought to pass the Employee Free Choice Act in the Senate.  And I will make it the law of the land when I'm president of the United States of America."  President-elect Obama will move into the White House with increased Democratic majorities in both the House and Senate, which also support legislation designed to stem the tide of declining union membership.

Big Labor Pushes for Big Payback.  Big Labor bussed thousands of activists to Capitol Hill Tuesday to lobby for the Employee Free Choice Act -- an act union leaders have called their top legislative priority for the 110th Congress.  Event organizers claimed they brought 2,000 participants on 62 busses from the Campaign for America's Future's "Take Back America" conference to the Upper Senate Park.  There, a parade of Democratic congressmen and senators delivered hard-line progressive rhetoric to their pro-union advocates.

[Take back America?  Who has America now?]

Courting union votes:  When Barack Obama was seeking AFL-CIO support in the primaries, he promised to sign a bill that would effectively deprive workers of a private-ballot vote in unionization drives. … Mr. Obama doesn't talk about this issue much before general audiences, but it his No. 1 promise when he speaks to unions — pledging that the so-called Employee Free Choice Act will become law in 2009 if he wins the presidency in November.

(And he did.)

Are Unions Dead, or Just Getting Started?  The Employee Free Choice Act, one of the most controversial labor proposals in years, may come to the table early in the Obama administration and could give unions a big boost if it's passed.  And everyone following the vote agrees it's going to be extremely close.

Your Right to Vote on the Ballot.  Few are aware that their right to vote in private — at least in the workplace — may be in danger.  It seems too bizarre to be true, but union bosses want to end secret ballot elections, and many members of Congress are willing to go along.  If they succeed, more than 100 million workers would lose their right to a private vote on whether to join a union. … Some 105 million American workers would lose their right to a private vote under the "Employee Free Choice Act."  It has nothing to do with employee free choice and everything to do with increasing union membership.
This is an original compilation, Copyright © 2013 by Andrew K. Dart

Have 'Card Check,' Will Strike.  With their friends back in charge in Washington, unions seek a return to their glory days.  If they succeed, prepare for a surge in costly workplace strife.

The Big Lie About The Big Lie About The Employee Free Choice Act.  It all started with an innocent-looking email, this one from the collective bargaining entity which represents me as a network television writer.  Along with the usual minutia there was a note requesting my support for the Employee Free Choice Act, a law which would allow employees to vote on unionizing while dispensing with some of the niceties we've come to associate with voting in this country — like, uh, the secret ballot.

Unions step up to fight for Solis.  Announced last month, SEIU started the "Change that Works" campaign, which is pushing in 2009 for health care reform, the economic stimulus bill and the EFCA.  The union has committed 30 percent of its staff and financial resources to the campaign, costly roughly $50 million.  "We have a nationwide field operation.  That could quite easily be tapped into for this," [Ramona] Oliver said.  "We could pull anything from that toolbox."

Bill would allow unions to expand at all costs.  Blaming its lack of appeal with private-sector workers on employer intimidation and trickery, organized labor is pushing Congress and President-elect Obama to pass the "Employee Free Choice Act."  A more accurate title would be the "Union Expansion at All Costs Act."  In the name of strengthening unions, the bill would jettison two bedrock principles that workers and management should both defend.

It's no secret:  This ballot is huge.  George Orwell is turning over in his grave.  But if you live in Georgia, you can put a stop to it.  The so-called "Employee Free Choice Act," is as Orwellian a name for any law we've ever seen.  The proposed law before Congress, in fact, is not about free choice at all; rather, it seeks to restrict the free choice of those who don't want to join a union, in a most underhanded way.

The Card Check "Compromise".  Using words like "bipartisanship" and "compromise" President Obama may attempt a clever move to get controversial legislation passed to increase Big Labor's control over the U.S. workforce.  It's no secret the Orwellian-titled Employee Free Choice Act is one of the Democrats' top priority legislative items to tackle after work on the economic stimulus bill is completed.

The Union Campaign Against Secret Ballot Elections.  Facing declining membership, union officials have turned to a highly questionable practice of organizing new members through a process called "card check."  With card checks, paid union organizers try to persuade workers to sign cards saying that they favor union representation.  This persuasion is documented as frequently including deception, coercion, and harassing visits to workers' homes.

Unions Continue to Push Card Check Legislation; Senate Fate Uncertain.  The Employee Free Choice Act may not be the slam dunk for Big Labor that labor union activists want the public to believe.  Known as "card check," the bill is the centerpiece of Big Labor's agenda for the Obama administration.

Our Workers Deserve Secret Ballots.  There is a push in Congress to enact card check despite the fact that the vast majority of workers — including rank-and-file union members — want to keep the private ballot system in workplace unionization elections and do not want it replaced by a signature card process that will subject them to the pressures of solicitation and potential intimidation by union activists.  Ironically, to decertify a union, labor leaders insist on holding private-ballot elections to protect workers from employer intimidation.

Discard 'undemocratic' card check.  President Obama made a great deal of promises to labor groups during his campaign for the White House, but the effort to get Congress to pass economic recovery legislation has put those promises on the back burner.  And that's a good thing when it comes to the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA).

Sizing Up Civil Service:  Before 1981, there were an average of 300 strikes a year.  Strikers held all the power; they were seldom replaced by their employer.  By firing the air traffic controllers, [President Reagan] changed the dynamic.  "Any kind of worker, it seemed, was vulnerable to replacement if they went out on strike, and the psychological impact of that, I think, was huge," explains Joseph McCartin, a historian working on a book about the strike.  That's why strikes are rare these days, with fewer than 30 per year on average.

Unions plan organization push in Texas.  The unions, which include the AFL-CIO and the Change to Win coalition, enhanced their political muscle by campaigning heavily for Mr. Obama, who sponsored several labor-friendly bills during his brief career in the Senate.  The unions want the next Congress to quickly pass a bill at the top of their shopping list:  legislation that would allow unions to form as soon as a majority of workers sign cards saying they want one.

Unions' Creepy Push Against Secret Ballot.  The first campaign promise Barack Obama should break is to push through the Employee Free Choice Act.  That harmless sounding piece of legislation would let union organizers do an end run around secret-ballot elections:  Companies would have to recognize a union if most workers signed cards in support of it.  We're not children here.  We know how those majorities can be reached.  There's repeated harassment, bullying and more inventive tactics, such as getting workers drunk, then sliding sign-up cards under their noses.  Meanwhile, any strong-armed tactics by employers can be dealt with.

After Push for Obama, Unions Seek New Rules.  After making millions of phone calls and knocking on millions of doors to elect Barack Obama, the nation's labor unions have begun a new campaign: to get the new president and Congress to pass legislation that would make it easier for workers to unionize.  Unions, delighted that they will have a friend in the White House after eight years of fighting President Bush, also plan to push for universal health coverage and a huge stimulus program to create jobs and counter the downturn.

Democracy Alliance memo details Dem plan to "educate the idiots" and target minorities.  In a confidential internal memorandum obtained by Face The State (PDF), the Colorado Democracy Alliance outlines a roster of "operatives" who worked for Democratic victory in the 2006 general election.  The document outlines specific tasks for various members of the state's liberal infrastructure, including a campaign to "educate the idiots," assigned to the state's AFL-CIO union.  Among the operation's intended targets:  "minorities, GED's, drop-outs."

Union Pension Funds Go Green.  Organized labor officials are using their control over union pension funds to promote their own political agenda at the expense of rank-and-file union members.  By promoting shareholder resolutions that advance environmentalist causes, among other "progressive" goals — as part of the unions' "corporate campaign" strategy — unions are building a stronger political coalition, but they may be violating their fiduciary responsibility to their own members and putting workers' retirement security at risk.

Colorado's Labor Showdown:  Right-to-work laws tend to make it harder to organize a union, and Big Labor's national priority these days is reversing a long-term trend of falling union numbers.  So at the first hint of the initiative, Colorado's labor unions mobilized to defeat the measure, while escalating with four antibusiness ballot initiatives as political retaliation.

Labor Goes for the Brass Ring.  Organized labor spent tens of millions of dollars and untold man hours to help elect a Democratic Congress in 2006.  So far the pay-off has been modest.  But with the presidency at stake, unions are expected to spend up to $360 million by November, more than twice as much as four years ago.  At the top of labor's agenda is the misnamed Employee Free Choice Act, which would deny employees the opportunity to vote before a union takes over their workplace.

AFL-CIO kicks off largest Get Out The Vote effort ever.  With less than two weeks to go before voters cast their ballots, the AFL-CIO launched a massive Get Out The Vote campaign Tuesday [10/21/2008], targeting over 13 million union voters across the country in presidential, congressional and gubernatorial battleground states. ... The efforts will also target 12 Senate races and 60 House races in an effort to secure a filibuster-proof majority in the U.S. Senate.

The Editor says...
So much for our system of checks and balances.

Dems play footloose with immigration facts.  As they recall the failure of immigration reform in Congress, Democrats want to come off as the good guys.  This means burying the fact that their patrons in organized labor instructed them to kill any compromise that included guest workers — a concept AFL-CIO President John Sweeney termed "a bad idea (that) harms all workers."

Union helps non-profit groups pay for attack ads.  The nation's largest public employee union has funneled more than $5 million to a series of non-profits running ads attacking Republican congressional candidates, federal election records show.  Since July, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) has donated almost $5.5 million to three groups:  Campaign Money Watch, Patriot Majority and Patriot Majority Midwest.

States of the unions.  You just knew that when Joe O'Connell, former head of the local AFL-CIO, got on stage here with John McCain and Sarah Palin things were not going smoothly for the Obama campaign among union voters.  "I am a lifelong Democrat, an intelligent Democrat, who is supporting John McCain," O'Connell said last week as a crowd of 7,000 waved "Another Democrat for John McCain" signs and roared its approval.

Big Labor's Billion Dollar Bet on Obama.  Big Labor is launching its largest political campaign in its history, and this year, more than ever, Big Labor means Big Money.  The union conglomerate is already sending teams of canvassers to knock on doors in swing states.  Unions are distributing 1.5 million flyers and sending 500,000 targeted attack mailers to voters as well.  The two largest union coalitions — the AFL-CIO and the "Change to Win" Federation, a coalition of the American labor unions formed in 2005 as an alternative to the AFL-CIO — have publicly admitted they will spend at least $300 million combined on federal elections alone.

AFL-CIO getting ready to endorse Obama.  The AFL-CIO is preparing to give its stamp of approval to Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama.  The leaders of the nation's largest labor organization started voting Tuesday [6/24/2008] on whether to endorse the Illinois senator.  The election, which is being done by fax, is scheduled to end on Thursday.  Obama's name is the only one on the ballot sent to the AFL-CIO's 56 unions.

Just one name on the ballot.  Sounds like Zimbabwe.

Barack Obama's AFL-CIO nod gives him one more potent weapon.  With just a few days left before June ends, there's a clear frontrunner for the month's least surprising political development — the endorsement Barack Obama received today from the AFL-CIO. The massive conglomeration of 56 national and international unions — comprising about 10.5 million workers — steered clear of making a pick during the primary season because there was no consensus choice among the group's various affiliates.

The Editor says...
If you are a member of a labor union, and a portion of your union dues — your money — goes to support Barack Obama, I urge you to take a look at his voting record in the Senate, as well as the Illinois legislature.  There is no US Senator who is more radically liberal than Obama.  Read about him on this page.

The Union Party:  At the AFL-CIO forum in Chicago this summer, Barack Obama declared that "special interests have been shaping our trade policy.  That's something that I'll end." … But Obama and his rivals have had nothing to say about the special interest that sat right in front of them at the forum — the one that really is shaping our trade policy.  That would be the labor unions.  According to the National Institute for Labor Relations Research, unions contributed $925 million to political campaigns and causes during the last presidential-election cycle.  Nearly all of that money went to Democrats.

Your union dues at work:
Donors pick up convention tab.  Labor unions and wealthy donors are helping to close funding gaps for both national political conventions, sometimes contributing more than what they could legally donate to Barack Obama or John McCain.  The American Federation of Teachers and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) each recently gave at least $500,000 for the Democratic convention in Denver.

Docking Paychecks for Politics.  The mighty Service Employees International Union (SEIU) plans to spend some $150 million in this year's election, most of it to get Barack Obama and other Democrats elected.  Where'd they get that much money?  That's a question the Departments of Labor and Justice are being asked to investigate by the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation.  Specifically, the labor watchdog group wants Justice to query a new SEIU policy that appears to coerce local workers into funding the parent union's national political priorities.

Secrets Are No Fun for Unions.  Who are you voting for this fall?  The answer to that question is none of my business.  In fact, it is a fundamental American right to have your vote be as private as you wish.  Unfortunately, Democrats and their financiers, Big Labor, want to abolish a worker's fundamental, American right to a secret ballot.  Why are they doing this?  Maybe because Democrats have openly admitted they owe their 2006 electoral success to Big Labor and have promised the elimination of the secret ballot as a return on investment.

Viva la Secret Ballot!  This is all preliminary, mostly because I made the mistake of taking German instead of Spanish in high school, but if Google Translator is correct, it appears the Mexican Supreme Court has ruled that secret ballots are necessary in union elections.

Big Labor's Bill to End Secret Ballots Gains Momentum.  In April, then-Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama said in Philadelphia, "I've fought to pass the Employee Free Choice Act in the Senate.  And I will make it the law of the land when I'm president of the United States of America."  President-elect Obama will move into the White House with increased Democratic majorities in both the House and Senate, which also support legislation designed to stem the tide of declining union membership.

Union Leader's Spending Scrutinized.  Annual reports filed with the Labor Department show that the local paid $177,000 last year to a video production firm run by [Tyrone] Freeman's wife, Pilar Planells.  The local's training center has often paid more than $90,000 a year to a child care firm run by Mr. Freeman's mother-in-law.  In 2006, the local paid $16,000 to a basketball team coached by Mr. Freeman's brother-in-law.  The expenditures were first reported by The Los Angeles Times.

AFL-CIO Falsely Attacks McCain.  It runs an ad claiming McCain voted "against increasing health care benefits for veterans," when he actually voted repeatedly to increase them.

Mexican Trucks:  Phantom Menace.  Anyone worried that, once in charge, Democrats wouldn't be vigilant in protecting our southern border can relax:  The grave threat of Mexican long-haul truckers has been shut down. ... The [Teamsters] union can't abide Mexican trucks:  They represent competition, and so must be blocked legal obligations, economic rationality and diplomatic sense aside.

Obama Says Teamsters Need Less Oversight.  Sen. Barack Obama won the endorsement of the Teamsters earlier this year after privately telling the union he supported ending the strict federal oversight imposed to root out corruption, according to officials from the union and the Obama campaign.  It's an unusual stance for a presidential candidate.  Policy makers have largely treated monitoring of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters as a legal matter left to the Justice Department since an independent review board was set up in 1992 to eliminate mob influence in the union.

Teamsters Defend Endorsement of Obama.  The Teamsters union vigorously denied on Monday [5/5/2008] that its decision to endorse Senator Barack Obama in the presidential race was in any way tied to Mr. Obama's statement that federal supervision of the union had run its course.

Culture of Corruption: Obama and the Teamsters.  The Wall Street Journal recently reported that last summer, Illinois Senator Barack Obama told officials in the Teamsters union that he favored ending the Independent Review Board (IRB) that was created in 1989 by the federal government to rid the union of organized crime.  Tommy Vietor, a spokesman for Obama, confirmed the story, saying that the candidate believed that the IRB had "run its course" because "organized crime influence in the union has drastically declined."  The Teamsters subsequently endorsed Obama for president, in late February.  Obama and the Teamsters bristled at suggestions that any deal was made.

Democrats' Risky Alliance with Big Labor:  This is one more instance in which Democrats have confused the interests of union power brokers with the interests of working-class voters.  Unions may want to do away with workplace democracy, but real workers do not.  Similarly, teachers' unions hate school choice measures, but working-class voters whose kids are trapped in underperforming public schools like them.

Barack Obama Isn't Santa Claus.  In his speech, Obama speaks of America being "a better country than one where a man in Indiana has to pack up the equipment that he's worked on for 20 years and watch as it's shipped off to China."  Yet he left out that he recently told the Las Cruces Sun-News about his plan to give citizenship to all the undocumented illegal immigrants already here taking Americans' jobs and undercutting wages.  I wonder how all the union employees who applauded this week as some 600 illegals were hauled out of their plant during an INS raid in small town Mississippi would feel about Urkel Obama's plans to turn around and give all such cheaters citizenship?

Labor Unions Prolonged the Depression.  Pre-Depression-era growth and prosperity did not return to the private sector until the early 1950s, when the spread of state right-to-work laws prohibiting forced union membership and dues greatly reduced the detrimental effects of the Wagner Act.  The U.S. has just experienced another stock market crash, and Barack Obama, the candidate now favored to be the next president, is in favor of what amounts to a new Wagner Act.

Unions Support Democratic Presidential Candidates.  Last month the AFL-CIO held a press conference to announce its $53 million "McCain Revealed" campaign to portray McCain as "anti-worker" and attack his support for President George W. Bush's economic policies.  Unions already have spent at least $7.3 million in independent expenditures on behalf of Senators Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, the latter receiving $3 million from the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) alone, according to Cox News Service.  The SEIU has pledged $150 million to support Obama in the general election.

Wal-Mart ordered to allow union contract in Canada.  A Quebec arbitrator imposed a labor contract Friday [8/15/2008] at a unionized Wal-Mart outlet there, marking the first such deal involving the retail giant in North America.  While other Wal-Mart stores have been unionized, a group that is critical of the company's labor policies called it a "landmark" collective agreement.

ACORN Cracks Wide Open.  It's more than a little ironic that ACORN for nearly 15 years has been leading heavily union-backed campaigns to force private- as well as public-sector employers in cities and counties across the nation to pay workers a "living" wage, while severely underpaying and otherwise exploiting its own community foot soldiers.  Indeed, ACORN for years had blocked attempts by employees to unionize until the National Labor Relations Board told them otherwise.

Did someone mention ACORN?



Union workers lose Labor Day holiday

...but this will appease the Muslims, so maybe they won't poison the chicken nuggets.

Plant Drops Labor Day For Muslim Holiday.  Workers at the Tyson Foods poultry processing plant in Shelbyville [Tennessee] will no longer have a paid day off on Labor Day but will instead be granted the Muslim holiday Eid al-Fitr.  According to a news release from the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, a new five-year contract at the plant included the change to accommodate Muslim workers at the plant.

Tyson 'regrets' public reaction.  Tyson Foods says that Labor Day is still a holiday, but not for the union employees at the Shelbyville poultry processing facility, who will be taking off the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr instead.  Meanwhile, the union that negotiated the controversial contract at the Shelbyville plant has removed the original press release announcing the holiday change from its web site, and the union president has described the backlash to the decision as "bigotry."

Tyson Foods Adopts Muslim Holiday.  Eid mubarak, Shelbyville!  Union employees at Tyson Foods' poultry processing plant in Shelbyville, Tennessee will enjoy a paid holiday this year on October 1, the date on which the Islamic holiday of Eid al-Fitr falls this year.  And on Labor Day, they will be hard at work, per a new agreement that the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU) negotiated with Tyson.  The RWDSU explained that the new contract "implements a new holiday to accommodate the … Muslim workers at the plant."

The Editor says...
Something tells me most of the non-Muslims will call in sick on Labor Day, so they can go to the parades and picnics with everybody else.



AFSCME, MoveOn ad targets McCain on Iraq war.  A major labor union and the liberal organization MoveOn.org are joining forces to air a provocative new ad portraying John McCain's Iraq policy as a prolonged presence that would involve a new generation of Americans.  Paid for by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees and by MoveOn.org, the commercial represents an expansion by Democratic-leaning groups of a campaign against McCain.

The Union Agenda:  Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama visited the House of Labor this week, and Labor can't wait to invite one back.  Which one?  Who cares.  To read the press coverage, unions are as split as the rest of the country over a Democratic nominee.

Hillary Labor Pains:  Powerful union bosses, including a key backer of Hillary Rodham Clinton, urged her to sack chief strategist Mark Penn just days before she axed him, it was revealed yesterday [4/7/2008].  Clinton backer Gerald McEntee, who heads the powerful AFSCME union of government workers, says he told her that Penn needed to go.

Voter Turnout or Voter Fraud?  On March 8 the Washington Post disclosed that George Soros has decided to help fund a state-of-the-art database that will collect and organize detailed information on millions of voters. ... Harold Ickes, a former Clinton White House deputy chief of staff, will organize the project and he will encourage labor unions and liberal special interest groups to use its information. ... Ickes' job will be to help unions and advocacy groups use its detailed up-to-date information on voters' likes and dislikes to push their hot buttons and get them to the polls on Election Day.

When Unions Negotiate With Governments:  Ever wonder what determines the outcome of multi-year billion dollar employee contracts negotiated between labor unions and state government agencies?  Here's what happened when one group filed a public records request to find out.

U.S. Supreme Court to Consider Union Political Funds Collection.  Taxpayers across the nation will soon know whether states can prohibit local school boards from collecting political contributions for teacher unions, as the U.S. Supreme Court is reviewing such matters in a case from Idaho.  In 2003, the Idaho Legislature passed the Voluntary Contributions Act, which banned the collection of political contributions through government payroll systems throughout the state.  Nothing in the law prohibits union members from contributing to candidates by choice, and nothing in it prohibits unions from engaging in politics.

Unions Look to Democrats to Enact Sweeping Legislative Agenda.  What makes labor's current political activity so significant is that, unlike when Democrats controlled Congress and the White House in the early 1990s, this time unions want a major overhaul of labor law.  Unions are demanding that Democratic presidential candidates commit to adopting their agenda, and a Democratic president will feel an enormous obligation to uphold election promises.  If Democrats hang onto the House and increase their Senate margin, Republicans will have few opportunities to impede labor's broader agenda.

Workers are fine with fewer unions.  Labor unions' importance in the workplace has fallen steadily since 1950, when roughly a third of American workers were unionized.  Today, that number is well below 10% in the private sector. ... Maybe unions aren't so crucial to worker well-being.  When more than 90% of the private-sector labor force isn't unionized, why do 97% of us earn above the minimum wage?  If our bargaining power is so pitiful, why don't greedy employers exploit us and drive wages down to the legal minimum?


"You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.  You cannot help the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer.  You cannot further the brotherhood of many by encouraging class hatred.  You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich."

Rev. William J. H. Boetcker, 1916.    



Expect Big Labor Power Grabs Next Year.  Focused on raising forced-union-dues dollars, union officials have made expanding Big Labor's government-granted special privileges a top priority.  So, although the Supreme Court's decision in Chamber v. Brown may slow coercive union organizing down from its current breakneck speed, workers likely face a renewed assault on their freedom of association after the November elections.

Workers Get To Say No To Labor Bosses.  The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Thursday [6/14/2007] that unions may not spend nonunion workers' fees for political purposes without the workers' permission.  Now the question is, will the unions obey the ruling?

Union Officials Forced to Drop $5,000 Retaliatory Fines.  Under federal law, workers who resign from union membership cannot be lawfully fined by a union — even if the union maintains a formal rule governing the situation, which it did not in this case.  In Patternmakers v. NLRB (1984) U.S. Supreme Court decision, the High Court ruled workers may resign their formal union membership immediately, at any time, and without restrictions.

Unions pump $1 million into phone-tax campaign.  Organized labor has contributed more than $1 million to help Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa persuade voters to approve a Feb. 5 ballot measure that would maintain the city's telephone utility users tax. … Los Angeles County Federation of Labor Executive Secretary-Treasurer Maria Elena Durazo said unions are bankrolling the campaign because losing the telephone tax would hurt city services and the public employees who provide them.

Rescuing the Rust Belt?  When the American automobile industry was the world's leader in its field, many people seemed to think that labor unions could transfer a bigger chunk of that prosperity to its members without causing economic repercussions.  Toyota, Honda, and others who took away more and more of the Big Three automakers' market share — leading to huge job losses in Detroit — proved once again the old trite saying that there is no free lunch. … Many workers in the new plants being built by Toyota and others apparently already understand that.  They have repeatedly voted against being represented by labor unions.  They want to keep their jobs.

Big Labor's Unfulfilled Wish List:  The federal government's union watchdog agency will have to get by on less next year.  The mammoth omnibus spending bill passed last week hacks nearly $3 million from the Office of Labor Management Standards — a small gift for Big Labor just in time for Christmas.  The budget cut was a setback for the office, which has recouped more than $100 million for American workers since 2001 as a result of increased enforcement.

Government Unions Hide Behind Secrecy Protections.  There is little doubt that financial transparency is a major deterrent to labor union and political corruption.  Yet, where the two meet — unions of government employees — there is virtually no financial transparency.  Unions composed entirely of government employees at the state and local level are not covered by the federal Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act (LMRDA), also known as the Landrum-Griffin Act.

Unions Allowed Back Into Utah's Payroll System.  Big Labor struck back against Utah's Voluntary Contributions Act by convincing the state's 10th Circuit Court unions have the right to collect political contributions of members through the state and local payroll systems.

FEC Fines Group Allied With Democrats.  A union-financed advocacy group that played a major role in the 2004 elections has agreed to pay a $580,000 fine after the Federal Election Commission concluded it illegally ran advertising against President Bush and in favor of Democrat John Kerry.

Union Math, Union Myths.  Since its peak in the 1950s, union membership in the private sector has steadily dropped.  To explain the decline, labor leaders have scapegoated businesses for intimidating employees during organizing campaigns.  But data from the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) do not — in any way — substantiate the notion that tens of thousands of employees are wrongly fired each year.

Embezzlement, False Reports, Violence, and More.  Most people don't know just how many crimes are committed every year through which union officials hurt their own members.  The number of reputed and verified crimes is staggering.  Nothing illustrates this more clearly than the hundreds of indictments of union officials for violations of the Labor Management and Reporting Disclosure Act.  According to the Office of Labor-Management Standards (OLMS), those crimes include "embezzlement, filing false reports, keeping false records, destruction of records, extortionate picketing and deprivation of rights by violence."

Union Violence, Harassment, and Intimidation of Workers:  Many union officials have ordered or approved of violent, coercive, and harassing conduct aimed at making an example of employees who don't toe the union line.  The National Institute for Labor Relations Research has compiled a list of incidents of union violence that average nearly 300 per year for the last 30 years.

Conscientious Objections to Union Fee Increase.  Federal law is clear that no employee can be forced to support political or ideological causes with which he or she disagrees.  Unionized employees have the right to become religious or political objectors, either diverting their full dues to charity, or receiving a refund for the portion of their dues which would otherwise be spent for political causes.  In this way, employees can ensure that their funds are not used for purposes which contradict their beliefs.

[In one recent year, the IBEW spent $4,637,733 per year on political activities and lobbying.*]

Unions' Latest Abuse of Power:  Union leaders [have begun] to lose touch with the men and women they were supposedly elected to represent.  Today, they are more likely to be found on the golf course or at pricey restaurants and nightclubs than at the negotiating table or on the picket line.  As a result, workers who were once proud of their union affiliation have begun to turn away in droves.  Less than 7.4 percent of the private-sector workforce in this country is unionized today, and the percentage is steadily decreasing.

Carpenters' Union Outsources Picket Lines.  In this video, one union boss oversees a picket line of homeless and transients the union hired to do work the union's members won't do themselves.  When a reporter tries to ask the picketers questions, they say that they will be fired if they talked to him.  The union boss remains tight lipped too.

Clinton Picks Up Union Endorsement.  The United Transportation Union on Tuesday [8/28/2007] endorsed Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton for the Democratic nomination for president, the first national union endorsement of the 2008 campaign. … The UTU also is one of the top political donors in organized labor, contributing $1.3 million in the 2004 federal elections, with 84 percent of the money going to Democratic candidates.

Large Union Backs Obama; Another Is Likely to Do Same.  Giving Senator Barack Obama new momentum, one of the nation's largest labor unions, the United Food and Commercial Workers, endorsed him on Thursday [2/14/2008].  Another giant, the Service Employees International Union, was on the brink of backing him.

Union members can opt out of dues based on religious beliefs.  An employee whose religious beliefs conflict with the political positions of their labor union cannot be forced to pay dues, a federal judge ruled.  U.S. District Judge Gregory Frost's ruling broadens the category of employees who may opt out of unions because of religious beliefs beyond Seventh-day Adventists and Mennonites.

Democrats pledge to reverse unions' decline.  Six Democratic presidential contenders, courting one of the party's most crucial interest groups, pledged Wednesday [8/15/2007] to work to reverse decades of decline in the nation's union movement.

Big Labor Pushes for Big Payback.  Big Labor bussed thousands of activists to Capitol Hill Tuesday to lobby for the Employee Free Choice Act -- an act union leaders have called their top legislative priority for the 110th Congress.  Event organizers claimed they brought 2,000 participants on 62 busses from the Campaign for America's Future's "Take Back America" conference to the Upper Senate Park.  There, a parade of Democratic congressmen and senators delivered hard-line progressive rhetoric to their pro-union advocates.

[Take back America?  Who has America now?]

Courting union votes:  When Barack Obama was seeking AFL-CIO support in the primaries, he promised to sign a bill that would effectively deprive workers of a private-ballot vote in unionization drives. … Mr. Obama doesn't talk about this issue much before general audiences, but it his No. 1 promise when he speaks to unions — pledging that the so-called Employee Free Choice Act will become law in 2009 if he wins the presidency in November.

(And he did.)

Are Unions Dead, or Just Getting Started?  The Employee Free Choice Act, one of the most controversial labor proposals in years, may come to the table early in the Obama administration and could give unions a big boost if it's passed.  And everyone following the vote agrees it's going to be extremely close.

AFL-CIO to spend $200 million on 2008.  The AFL-CIO and its unions said Friday [9/21/2007] they will spend an estimated $200 million on the 2008 elections, with the nation's largest labor federation devoting $53 million exclusively to grass-roots mobilization.  In addition, the AFL-CIO said it would deploy more than 200,000 volunteers leading up to the election, with special focus on battleground states such as Ohio, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, Michigan and Wisconsin.

Here is an excerpt from the article above...
"Today the AFL-CIO is sending a powerful message that we are going to change the course of our country in 2008 by electing a president and candidates at all levels who are committed to restoring the promise of America to working people," AFL-CIO President John Sweeney said.
The Editor says...
This is the emptiest rhetoric I've heard in a long time.  Who made (and then retracted) the "promise of America?"  And what guarantees do you have when someone has promised you "America"?  I'm sure the enthusiastic crowd cheered, even though Mr. Sweeney's statement makes no sense.

AFL-CIO to spend $40 million in political fight.  The AFL-CIO, a federation of 52 U.S. labor unions, plans to spend a record $40 million in an attempt to unseat Republicans in this year's congressional elections.

AFL-CIO Begins $40M Voter Drive.  The AFL-CIO launched a $40 million voter-drive yesterday [8/30/2006], targeting 21 states and hoping increased turnout among union members swings competitive races in Ohio and Pennsylvania. … The vast majority of the candidates who would benefit are Democrats in union-heavy states, especially the Midwest.

Outsourcing the Picket Line:  Carpenters Union Hires Homeless to Stage Protests.  Although their placards identify the picketers as being with the Mid-Atlantic Regional Council of Carpenters, they are not union members.  They're hired feet, or, as the union calls them, temporary workers, paid $8 an hour to picket.  Many were recruited from homeless shelters or transitional houses.  Several have recently been released from prison.  Others are between jobs.

Your Right to Vote on the Ballot.  Few are aware that their right to vote in private — at least in the workplace — may be in danger.  It seems too bizarre to be true, but union bosses want to end secret ballot elections, and many members of Congress are willing to go along.  If they succeed, more than 100 million workers would lose their right to a private vote on whether to join a union. … Some 105 million American workers would lose their right to a private vote under the "Employee Free Choice Act."  It has nothing to do with employee free choice and everything to do with increasing union membership.

Secret ballots in union selection process facing extinction.  Labor unions hope this exquisitely mistitled act, which the House of Representatives probably will pass this week, will compensate for their dwindling persuasiveness as they try to convince workers to join.  It would allow unions to organize workplaces without workers voting for unionization in elections with secret ballots.  Instead, unions could use the "card check" system:  Once a majority of a company's employees signs a card expressing consent, the union is automatically certified as the bargaining agent for all the workers.

Patrick signs bill to ease union organizing.  Union organizing just got easier for government employees in Massachusetts.  Governor Deval Patrick signed a bill yesterday [9/27/2007] that allows employees to organize through "card check" drives, rather than secret ballots.

AFL-CIO bullying Colorado on Dems' 2008 convention.  Why is the AFL-CIO so worried about an obscure Colorado bill?  Because the vetoed measure was of a piece with the "Employee Free Choice Act of 2007" now being rushed through Congress by national Democrats, led by Rep. George Miller, D-Calif.  That bill abolishes all secret ballot voting in union representation contests.  Doing away with workers' right to cast a secret ballot when voting on whether to unionize is the AFL-CIO's top national priority because union leaders think it will help them reverse their decades-long slide in membership.

Stop Democrats' Big Labor payoff.  Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives are expected today to approve the deceptively labeled "Employee Free Choice Act of 2007," sponsored by Rep. George Miller, D-Martinez, and most of his colleagues on his side of the partisan aisle. … EFCA is Big Labor's No. 1 legislative priority for the 110th Congress.  We believe it should be defeated for these three reasons.  First, EFCA strikes down a fundamental right of workplace democracy, the secret ballot in representation elections.

House votes to ease unionizing.  Democrats rewarded organized labor yesterday for helping them retake control of Congress, passing a House bill that would make it easier for workers to start unions against companies' wishes.  The legislation, passed 241-185 on a nearly party-line vote, would take away the right of employers to demand secret-ballot elections by workers before unions could be recognized.

Labor's Payoff:  Organized labor may want to celebrate the House vote March 1 that one newspaper headline touted as a "payoff" for the $56.7 million that unions contributed to Democrats in the 2006 midterm elections.  The passage of H.R. 800, the "Employee Free Choice Act," is indeed a milestone for big labor, which watched it go down in defeat in the 108th and 109th Congresses.  But it will have to be a quick victory dance; the bill will not pass in the Senate by a long shot.

Unions are sinking, but secret ballots not the cause.  In D.C., they're calling it the Employee Free Choice Act, a title that conservative Washington Post columnist George Will called "Orwellian."  The bill, which prevailed in the new Democratic- controlled Congress, removes the right of employers to demand secret-ballot elections by workers before unions could be recognized.  If the bill became law, a union would be certified once a majority of workers signed authorization cards, a fairly public process.  Today, if a majority of employees signs such cards, employers can require a secret-ballot election, which is conducted by the National Labor Relations Board.

"Card Check" Is Just One Reason Unions Are Losing Workers.  Secret ballot elections, though not prefect, are the best means with which to insure each man has just one vote.  Labor Unions are attempting to justify the removal of free and fair elections in the unionization process.

My Party Should Respect Secret Union Ballots.  Voting is an immense privilege.  That is why I am concerned about a new development that could deny this freedom to many Americans.  As a longtime friend of labor unions, I must raise my voice against pending legislation I see as a disturbing and undemocratic overreach not in the interest of either management or labor.  The legislation is called the Employee Free Choice Act, and I am sad to say it runs counter to ideals that were once at the core of the labor movement.

McGovern Criticizes Dems on Big Labor.  Former Democratic presidential candidate George McGovern is taking a prominent role a $30 million campaign to oppose Democratic-backed "card check" legislation that would eliminate the secret ballot process required to unionize workplaces.

No way to form a union.  When citizens go to the polls on Nov. 4, they will be free to vote their conscience — regardless of pressure from relatives, friends or co-workers — after having had a chance to weigh the alternatives.  Campaigns and secret ballots are sacrosanct elements of American democracy.  So it's surprising and disturbing that organized labor wants to do away with both these elements when workers decide whether to form a union.

'Card check' red herring.  There are two principal methods for employees to join and command employers to recognize their union's collective bargaining request.  First:  Company workers can get at least 30 percent of their colleagues to sign petition cards requesting representation, send the cards to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), and have them oversee a secret ballot election.  Second:  If more than half of the workers sign up for representation, a union is deemed legitimate through "card check" procedures without Labor Relations getting involved at all, but the employer has the right to request a secret ballot election.

The good, bad & ugly of card-check.  Is it pay-back time or about time? When it comes to "card-check," slang for the Employee Free-Choice Act — one of the first pieces of legislation likely to go before Congress when it reconvenes in January — it depends on who you ask.

The flaw in 'card check':  There is no doubt that card check — in which union organizers try to persuade more than half the workers to sign cards or petitions selecting a particular union as their representative — favors unions.  It becomes common knowledge which workers have signed and which have not.  Organizers can canvass the holdouts and target those most likely to succumb to union campaigning or peer pressure.  But it is the workers' power to select a union that we're trying to protect, not the union's power to organize employees.

Card Check is Big Labor's assault on African-Americans and women.  America's democratic experience runs back more than two centuries.  Throughout this history, we've recognized that using a secret ballot is a bedrock principle of a true democracy.  Only with this privacy can people vote their conscience, without fear of retaliation.  Yet Congress is considering legislation to eliminate secret ballots for workers.

Why Card Check Is Unconstitutional:  The Employee Free Choice Act of 2009 — otherwise known as "card check" — is organized labor's dream.  As a practical matter, this legislation, pursued by both the Obama administration and the Democratic Congress, would do away with the secret ballot in the unionization process.

Why Team Obama Hates Poor People.  The administration especially hates the working poor.  People who are trying to get themselves out of tough circumstances have been targeted by this administration to be forced into even worse circumstances — especially if they disagree.  This would be largely accomplished by "card-check" legislation that President Obama promised union bosses he would see passed personally.  In making such a promise what President Obama has pledged is to take away the rights of the working poor who otherwise would be given the constitutional right of a secret ballot.  Obama's policy direction on this matter would open up the working poor to direct harassment, threats, and even violence for the simple crime of not agreeing with the union boss.  Disagreement that would not even be discovered if the secret ballot was left in place.

When Workers Say No.  Organized labor is on the march, with Democrats in control of both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue.  The top priority for big labor has been the Employee Free Choice Act; it may not be possible to pass the bill this session, but unions continue to push for it.  Even a small electoral change in 2010 could put the issue back in play.  Organizers want Congress to help them intimidate their way to victory, because, as it is, too many workers are saying no to unions.

Union-Abused Employees Give Testimony to Congress.  The coercive card check unionization scheme is highly controversial for severely curtailing employees' freedom to choose whether or not to unionize and for stripping workers of the limited protections of a government-supervised secret ballot election.

Illegally Forcing Union on Workers:  Because of the prevalence of union intimidation tactics directed at employees, card check is controversial for severely curtailing workers' freedom of choice in deciding whether or not to unionize.  Consequently, the organizing scheme has sparked numerous legal cases documenting illegal activities by union organizers, including threats, bribes, and stalking of rank-and-file workers.

Federal Labor Board to Prosecute Collusive Union Organizing Schemes.  National Right to Work Foundation attorneys have persuaded the General Counsel of the National Labor Relations Board to issue the first-ever unfair labor practice complaints in a series of employee cases challenging organized labor's predominant organizing method known as "card check."

Why union check-cards are coercive.  The secret ballot is the engine of representative democracy.  A person casts a vote in complete confidence without fearing coercion, bribery or blackmail by onsite opponents.  For some 70 years American labor law has operated on this principle.  If and when employees decide whether to be represented by a particular union, they shouldn't have to worry about pressure from their peers, the union or the employer.

The Battle Over Pacts that Deny Employees Secret Ballot Elections on Unionization:  "Increasingly unable to sell workers on union membership, union officials have resorted to coercive tactics such as 'neutrality' agreements and the in-your-face 'card check' solicitation process to intimidate workers into supporting a union," said Stefan Gleason, Vice President of the National Right to Work Foundation.  "The Big Three should be ashamed of themselves for selling their hard-working employees into forced unionism in return for concessions from United Auto Workers officials."



Material about the Teachers' Unions in particular is now on a separate page.

Material specifically about the Minimum Wage is now on a separate page.

Information about the The UAW Bailout is on a page of its own.



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Updated May 16, 2014.

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