Steelworkers' Leo Gerard Posts a Funny...sort of

Sometimes union bosses are just plain ol’ gooberheads.

Take Leo Gerard, for example.  He’s the president of the United Steelworkers and he seems to like making his points by conflating two different issues.

Earlier this week, the union-controlled National Mediation Board (the federal agency that governs labor relations in the airline and railroad industries) set more than 70 years of precedent on its head by changing how union votes are counted.

We noted how the voting change is nothing more than a payback for union bosses who can now concentrate their resources on unionizing an airline’s workers by concentrating only on hub cities and ignoring smaller outlying cities, even though workers in those smaller cities become unionized as well.

Nevertheless, in today’s true union fashion, Gerard posts an antagonistic op-ed in the Hill entitled: Hey, union-busters: We’ll Give You Supermajority. Aside from the provocative title [perhaps we should just start calling today’s unions ‘Company Killers’], Gerard’s post was more perplexing to the average reader than enlightening–even for those who don’t immediately see through his sad sophomoric sophistry .

Gerard makes the mistake of trying to tie NMB elections (which are entirely different than NLRB elections) into the uber-union desire for the job-destroying Employee Free Choice Act. His problem with doing that is that one has nothing to do with the other.

The anti-worker-rights groups wanted the NMB to retain a different kind of election – one that requires the winner to receive votes from the majority of all of those qualified to participate — essentially, a supermajority.

This is an exciting new development. Up until now CEOs, union-busters, and particularly conservative Republicans, have actively opposed the Employee Free Choice Act, mainly because of a provision they call “card check.” But card check provides exactly what they now say that they want – a determination made by the majority of all of those qualified to participate. So, clearly, since they’re so upset by the end of supermajority rule for airline and railroad workers, they’d be happy if Congress intervened and instituted it for all workers by passing the Employee Free Choice Act.

Under the NMB’s new voting procedures (regardless of whether one agrees with it or not), the voter’s preferences (presumably) are kept secret. Under the delusionally-dubbed Employee Free Choice Act’s ‘card-check’ provisions, worker preferences are not secret.

Under card-check, workers are left exposed to pressure, manipulation and deception.  And, most importantly, under card-check there is NO ELECTION, period.

Gerard’s post would be funny, if it weren’t such a pathetically poor attempt at subterfuge.

“I bring reason to your ears, and, in language as plain as ABC, hold up truth to your eyes.” Thomas Paine, December 23, 1776

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