Senate Democratic Candidates Dump Big Labor

Big Labor’s push to pass its top legislative agenda item during a lame duck session of Congress was dealt another severe blow this week when two Democratic candidates — one a sitting Senator — voiced new opposition to the “card check” bill.

Both are trailing in the polls.

Democratic Senate hopefuls Gov. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) and Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Co.) on Monday came out in opposition to the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) which seeks to, among other noxious elements, strip employees of the right to a secret ballot when voting whether or not to unionize their workplace.

Stripping secret ballot protections from individual employees for a unionization vote opens the door for notorious Big Labor intimidation tactics to produce its desired outcome.

“Rapid-fire debate questions flushed surprising answers from Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet and Republican Ken Buck tonight, with Bennet opposing a treasured union bill … After more than a year of equivocating on the Employee Free Choice Act, which would greatly ease union organizing, Bennet said: ‘I would not support the language in that bill,’” The Denver Post, reported of the Buck-Bennet debate this week. 

Bennet has been forced to flip-flop on his primary position on the unpopular legislation now that he trails Republican challenger Ken Buck in the race.  Win or lose, Bennet would still be seated for the lame duck.

In West Virginia, Manchin’s union defection comes as part of a much larger lurch to the right as the popular governor represents another unpopular Senate vote for the Democrat agenda in Washington.
The Wheeling News-Register reports that Manchin is now running away from prior support for Big Labor priorities. In a series of questions about issue stance, this new gem popped out:

*  Do you agree with the provision in the Employee Free Choice Act Bill, also known as card check, that would strip away the right of a secret ballot for workers voting to form a union? Also, should government have any say in dictating contracts between a company and a labor union, as card check calls for?

Manchin said he does not support removing the secret ballot provision for workers, and that government has no place in dictating labor contracts.

Manchin called the secret ballot vote “the most precious thing you own.”

“I’ve said publicly that … we must retain the secrecy of the ballot. It’s your vote, and only you should have knowledge of how you do that,” he said.

The winner of the West Virginia U.S. Senate seat would fill the late Sen. Robert Byrd’s term and is seated immediately after the election is certified — in place and voting for the dreaded lame duck session. 

Winning this seat would give Republicans another vote to secure filibusters against such unpopular legislation as card check, a union pension bailout, cap and trade, and the whole parade of horribles that any outgoing, scorned liberals may try to shove through on their way out the door.

Katie Gage, the executive director of the Workforce Fairness Institute (WFI) told HUMAN EVENTS that Democrat candidates are being forced answer tough questions from the electorate for their prior support of the card check bill. 

“For years, small businesses have been saying loudly and clearly that the Employee ‘Forced’ Choice Act is a job-killer.  But there remains a loyal group of union boss supporters both in Congress and within the Obama Administration who are more concerned with ‘payback’ than job creation,” Gage said.  “Today, we find that both Governor Manchin in West Virginia and Senator Bennet in Colorado have come out publicly in opposition to EFCA, which demonstrates the voices of employees and employers across the country are louder and stronger than the special interests in Washington, D.C.”

WFI is an educational organization opposed to unfair interference of government bureaucrats, union organizers and special interests in the employer-employee relationship.