Diary

Beware! EFCA Is Coming!!

According to some political sources, the Employee Free Choice Act- better known as the “card check” law- may be introduced in the Senate this week.  According to the rules established, the law will originate in the Senate instead of the House this time around.  Essentially, this change to the National Labor Relations Act would eliminate the need for secret ballot elections if more than 50% of targeted workers sign union cards, would bring in a third party to negotiate contracts should one not develop after three months, and increase fines and penalties against employers.  The alleged purpose, according to organized labor, is that employers, prior to union election drives, have a captive audience and engage in unfair labor practices by intimidating workers into voting against the union.

However, a look at some very specific statistics reveal a very different story.  First, in 2008, unions actually won 66% of their unionization drives, the highest percentage on record since 2000.  Of the 4,208 petitions against employers for alleged unfair labor practices in union elections, only 158 (or 3.75%) were, after investigation, found to have any merit.  Wouldn’t the better solution be to merely strengthen the penalties against employers who do engage in these practices rather than eliminate a basic tenet of democracy- the secret ballot- to address a problem that amounts to 3.75% of the total?  Should 96.25% be denied a basic constitutional right?

The left-wing group, Americans United For Change, will be running television commercials and radio ads touting the importance of this legislation to improving the lot of working Americans.  Well, here are some more interesting statistics “working Americans” need to be aware of before they fall for this liberal propaganda:

        * only 3 of over 65 major newspapers across the political spectrum support EFCA and consider it “undemocratic;”

        * a recent poll by the Opinion Research Group of Princeton reveals that 82% of Americans polled oppose EFCA;

        * that same poll revealed that 75% of Americans support a secret ballot in union elections;

        * a 2004 Zogby poll reveals that union political contributions are the #2 reason behind only union corruption why union members oppose paying dues;

        * 63% of Americans believe unions should not force members to make political contributions while 61% of union members themselves oppose the practice;

        * 67% of union members are unaware of their right to refuse to make political contributions;

        * in 2004, George Bush received 38% of the union vote while John Kerry received 95% of union political contributions;

        * in the period between 1990 and 2004, 95% of the political contributions doled out by the NEA went to Democrats, yet only 45% of all teachers are registered Democrats.

The simple fact is that union membership has declined in recent years and unions today represent 12% of the American work force.  What unions fail to understand is that times have changed in employee-employer relations in the general sense.  I am not saying that there are not abuses of the system by employers.  But, with stricter enforcement and bigger fines and penalties against the true offenders would be the better path to take.  These examples are few and far between.  Conversely, please do not insult our intelligence and say that worker intimidation does not work both ways.  There are numerous examples of workers crossing picket lines during union drives being harrassed and beaten by union members.  Employers may threaten or actually fire union supporters in their workforce (wrong!), but unions sometimes take it further with physical violence and in rare cases, killings.

Our esteemed Vice President, Joe Biden (count on him to get to the crux of the matter) stated it best when he recently spoke before an AFL-CIO gathering in Miami.  To quote Biden: “You all brought me to the dance a long time ago and its time we start dancing.”  This is nothing more than a ploy to surreptitiously increase the ranks of unions, thus increase their coffers, thus create more political contributions to the Democratic Party.  OpenSecrets.org notes that greater than 90% of ALL union political contributions go to Democrats over the period from 1990 to 2004.  And the dollar amounts are NOT insignificant.  By misleading the American worker into believing that the only way to improve their lot in life is through unionization, unions and Congressional leaders are yet again enagaging in Orwellian double-speak.  This “Free Choice” act is anything but free choice.  It is government sanctioned fascism on the unsuspecting American worker- or at least those lucky enough to have a job right now.

It is imperative that those Senators sitting on the fence right now are made aware of the general disagreement with this proposal.  The choice is to stand on basic democratic principles or to succumb to union propaganda in a blatant power grab.  There are enough votes in the Nancy Pelosi-run House to pass this law without any Republican support.  But, because the bill is originating in the Senate this time, the need to nip this law in the womb is essential.  If it escapes that chamber as proposed, we forfeit a basic constitutional right to faceless, often corrupt union officials.  They key is to pressure those Democratic Senators from the southern and western Right-to-Work states.  The unions are already descending on the Capitol to pressure them the other way.  So the question is: Do these Senators listen 82% of the American people, or do they listen to the NEA, SEIU, AFL-CIO and other unions?  They let us down big time in October, 2008 when over 85% of Americans opposed the original TARP legislation.  They have an equally important chance to make up for that debacle by siding with the people this time around.