The “Employee Free Choice Act” H.R. 1409 has already passed the House, currently the Senate version S.560 is in committee.
Perhaps I possess a unique perspective on this legislation, since I have been a union member for over the twenty-eight (28) years. During these years I have been extremely active in the governance of my union (BRAC, now under the umbrella organization of the IAM) holding numerous official positions including: Recording Secretary, Vice President, President, and Local Chairperson at my facility.
I believe in the ability for workers to organize, negotiate a fair contact and be able to redress through various channels should the company not uphold the agreement. Unions were organized for this and have the historical presence in allowing workers a voice through a democratic process as to wages, work rules and an environment that is free of discrimination. With this is mind, I can not help but wonder how the “card check” legislation being considered is democratic in nature, let alone based on any founding principles of this country.
Voting for organization of union representation should be done through a process that is void of intimidation by either side, whether company or union. As in the principles of any true republic, secret ballot and the ability to vote according to personal conscious are of the utmost importance. “Card check” does away with this fundamental truth and allows union organizers to unfairly influence and coerce employees through many actions. While this is being presented as a plus to workers, I view this as alienating the worker from freedom of choice. Freedom of choice on whether to organize or not, should be determined through secret ballot; as is done when we vote during elections. This is an attempt by unions to manipulate the process for the organization’s interest and not that of the members. Unions are no longer concerned with the interests of the members; they have become a large thriving business, in and of themselves.
I have watched as unions organize skilled craftsperson’s below wage scale solely to reap the monthly union dues from the individual’s. But the greed of organized labor goes much further then the monthly dues, many unions are actively involved in pension programs for their members. These members, especially the newly organized, have little choice in whether to enroll in these pension programs, they are often mandatory.
Members have no input in how money is invested, that pesky part is left solely to the labor organizers and whichever cronies they stack on the pension board; who I might add draw a salary. With only 7% of all employees presently organized in unions, is it any wonder that unions are pushing for “card check” legislation to increase their numbers? Unions are looking to shore-up their pension programs through newly organized employees and assist in making sure their (the top union hierarchy’s) pension continues to reward them at the expense and toil of the union member. Should you have any doubts to the financial windfall labor executives reap from these pensions, read this eye opening article by the Wall Street Journal. If you believe that the right to secret ballot is a fundamental principle of this country, I urge you to contact your Senators and ask them to vote NO on this legislation.