There’s an old lawyer joke that goes, “If you have the facts on your side, pound the facts; if you have the law on your side, pound the law; if you have neither, pound the table!” Pounding the table appears to be the only attractive option left for former Labor Commissioner Jim Casey, who vainly tries to deflect the rapidly growing criticism of the Employee Free Choice Act.
EFCA, deceptively-named in classical Orwellian doublespeak manner, would accomplish precisely the opposite of its name: remove any vestiges of free choice from employees. Under this “Card-Check” law, ordinary workers would be deprived of the right to a secret ballot as to whether to organize a union in a factory or company.
The fundamental of right to cast a vote in private was adopted by ancient Greece and the Roman Republic. It is virtually unheard of to conduct a public election in this country without a secret ballot, yet union officials and the Democrat party are rubbing their hands in glee at the removal of secret balloting from the unionization process.
Unions, of course, prefer Card-Check because it reveals to them exactly which workers are in their pocket and which may want to exercise their free choice. For anyone who enjoys his or her job as-is and doesn’t want to pay union dues, he or she becomes identified and open to intimidation and undue pressure by co-workers, union organizers and even supervisors. Does that sound like “free choice” to you?
No less a leading light of the Democrat party than former Senator and Presidential nominee George McGovern has come out against Card-Check. McGovern had a 100% pro-union voting record while serving as a Senator, yet he recently declared that “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. Instead of providing a voice for the unheard, EFCA risks silencing those who would speak. Under EFCA, workers could lose the freedom to express their will in private, the right to make a decision without anyone peering over their shoulder, free from fear of reprisal.”
And how real is that fear of reprisal? Just since 2000, the Electronic Case Information System at the National Labor Relations Board shows thousands of unfair labor practices cases filed against unions, including 1,417 for coercive statements, 416 for violence and assaults, 546 for harassment, and 1,325 for threatening statements. If you think it’s tough turning down co-workers when they ask you to buy candy for their kids’ fundraisers, imagine turning down a demand by your supervisor to vote for union certification.
What unions and the Democrats don’t want you to consider is that success, higher wages and job growth comes not from more union activities, but rather from the traditional New Hampshire values of hard work and free markets. Competition in labor markets is as valuable as competition in product markets. After all, consumers can choose among many brands of beer and cars; why can’t companies offer differing levels of pay and jobs?
The genius of the free markets is that everyone, be they workers or employers, consumers or stores, are free to search for the best deal. Governments are pitifully lacking in the ability to decide which contract makes the best sense for which person – and thus the government should allow us to decide for ourselves. Simply put, voluntary transactions work for the benefit of both sides – employer and employee, and any laws that inhibit that would only cause more job losses in this state, rather than more opportunities.
Thankfully, public outrage has been escalating over this deceptive bit of legislation. Even as unions turn up their already-impressive donations to Democratic candidates (over $100,000 to Carol Shea-Porter and over $200,000 to Jeanne Shaheen), they fear that too many voters will learn about the actual intent and effect of the bill – which is why union puppets like Jim Casey, Carol Shea-Porter and Jeanne Shaheen are now desperately pounding the table. If you want to learn truth for yourself`, please visit www.employeefreedom.org.