If the Orwellian-named “Employee Free Choice Act,” more accurately called the Card-Check Forced Unionism Bill, were to pass as currently written, American workers would be tripped of access to secret-ballot elections when union organizers target their workplaces for unionization — opening workers up to union-boss intimidation, harassment or worse.
However, much to the chagrin of Big Labor, an increasing number of Americans nationwide oppose this draconian union-boss power grab, and they’re letting their elected officials know.
In response, union bosses are scheming in Washington to put together a so-called “compromise” version of the forced unionism power grab — a Trojan-horse version that will be every bit as destructive to individual freedom and the economy.
One rumored provision of a compromise bill includes allowing union officials to ambush workers with unionization elections on only a few days’ notice. Employers and independent-minded employees would have virtually no time to share truthful information about the downsides of unionization. Workers will be left in the dark about the union’s history of corrupt practices, how much money union bosses will seize from their paychecks, and other crucial information.
That means union bosses will enjoy a near monopoly on information and communication during an election period.
Needless to say, employees of small businesses — unable to devote resources to a full-time human resources department or the lawyers needed to ensure an employer does not fall into legal booby traps while giving their opinion on the matter to their workers — would be hardest hit. Ambush elections would make it possible for millions of small business employees to be forced under Big Labor control in the blink of an eye.
Greater Union Property Access
Another rumored compromise allows greater union-boss access to business property, violating the employer’s property rights and threatening the employees’ privacy rights — opening them up to increased harassment from aggressive union organizers. Employers could be forced to make employees attend company-paid “captive audience” speeches during which union organizers propagandize employees and allow union agents to harangue employees at the workplace, including in employee break rooms.
While these alternative proposals are bad enough, the card-check provision itself certainly is not dead. Don’t be fooled — Big Labor never gives up that easily. Service Employees International Union (SEIU) boss Andy Stern said he expects a vote on card-check as an amendment to the bill or in the bill in its final form.
Regardless of which version of the bill comes to the floor, it will most likely contain the most onerous provision yet: mandatory binding arbitration.
Under the mandatory binding arbitration provision, Obama administration bureaucrats would takeover employer/union boss contract negotiations after 90 days if union bosses drag out negotiations by making outrageous demands. The forced binding arbitration provision not only denies workers the right even to vote on the contract that governs their workplace lives, but it would also be binding for two years.
Moreover, such contracts would certainly include forced-dues provisions requiring all employees who labor in states without Right-to-Work laws to pay up or be fired.
Obama administration bureaucrats would effectively become de facto rubber stamps for union-boss coercion, doing Big Labor’s dirty work during negotiations and empowering them to browbeat employers into pushing more workers into forced-dues-paying union membership.
This outrageous power grab would force millions of additional working Americans to pay union dues under the threat of losing their jobs, filling Big Labor’s coffers with hundreds of millions of forced-dues dollars to pursue their Big Government, compulsory-unionism political agenda.
Meanwhile, it would severely hurt small businesses — the engine of our economy — by dramatically increasing the wasteful work rules, hate-the-boss propaganda, slowdowns, and bitter strikes that shut down small businesses and destroy jobs.
Big Labor’s allies in the House have enough votes to pass virtually anything the union bosses can dream up — so the real battle, at least for now, is in the Senate.
Facing a primary challenge from even further to the political left, Democratic Sen. Arlen Specter (D.-Pa.) has flip-flopped yet again, promising to support any version of the Card-Check Forced Unionism Bill. Meanwhile, waffling senators such as Democrats Blanche Lincoln (Ark.) and Ben Nelson (Neb.) are being pressured by Big Labor partisans to toe the union line or else.
The good news is that such groups as the National Right to Work Committee are rallying the American people against more forced unionism, and causing many elected officials to hesitate under the pressure.
But danger still looms. No matter which phony “compromise” organized labor finally pushes, you can be sure that it will compromise employees’ freedom in the workplace.