We have to start this posting with some questions to each of you dear readers out there. Do you like your vote to be secret? Free of coercion? Known only to you? Well, so does Obama’s new appointment for Secretary of Labor, Hilda Solis (D-El Monte, CA). She agrees with you and every other democracy-loving citizen that when it comes to her ballot, she wants it to be a secret one. She’s 100% for her own votes remaining secret from prying eyes.
Unfortunately, she also wants to take away that same democratic right from every working American faced with unionization. Solis, you see, has told everyone that will listen that once she becomes Secretary of Labor she will push for passage of the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) and the EFCA will do just that; take away the secret ballot from potential union members. In this she is in tune with Barack Obama because he wants the EFCA passed to pay back the millions that unions pumped into his campaign.
But, in January of last year, Solis, then a Congressman from California, signed a letter criticizing the Congressional Hispanic Caucus for not having a secret vote during their proceedings. Bret Jacobson has the scoop in the L.A.Times:
Solis wrote, “Votes by secret ballot were in order but never taken. We therefore believe that we need to follow proper rules of procedure and hold a vote by secret ballot.” She continued, “It is important that the integrity of the CHC be unquestioned and above reproach.” There’s no way to spin it. It’s a textbook example of hypocrisy, and one that may soon make its way into the law books as well.
So we find a sickening hypocrisy with Obama’s new Secretary of Labor here. When it’s her vote, she is all concerned that it remain a secret ballot. When it is the vote of millions of America’s workers, however, she is all for taking away from them that ages old democratic right.
What might be the concern about taking away the secret ballot for workers and why do they want to take it away in the first place, you might ask?
Advocates of the EFCA want to take away the secret ballot and replace it with a “card check” system to better create more unionized places of work across the country. In this new system all potential union members have to do is present a card to the union reps that say they want to be organized. Further, they want the law to state that a “yes” vote from one worker more than 50% of the employees is enough to force a union into a shop. This “card” however is an open document that everyone in the shop can see. Since it is an open document, this leaves workers voting “no” to union representation open to intimidation by anyone that sees they have done so. These workers will not be protected by the secret ballot because Hilda Solis and Barack Obama want to take that right away from them.
Even worse, there is no provision in the EFCA to make sure that the “cards” voting “yes” are authentic, the law only states that they be presented to the union reps and the employer. There is no way to be sure that the cards signed were actually signed by the individuals and no way to ascertain if they were signed under duress.
This is the world that Barack Obama and his Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis want to create. A world where workers have the oldest democratic right taken away from them, a world where they will be prey for union thugs, and a world where no provision is made to assure that “yes” votes are legitimate.
Is THIS the “change” you were looking for America?
(Photo credit: LATimes.com)
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