Big Labor Renews Attack on Secret Ballot

President Biden openly admits corralling far more U.S. employees into unions is one of his top objectives. That’s why he’s all for denying workers any chance to cast private votes over unionization. (Credit: Branco/ NRTWC)

Joe Biden Determined to Reward Union Bosses, Any Way He Can

Over the course of the past two decades, top officials of the AFL-CIO and other unions have repeatedly tried to ram through Congress legislation that would effectively deny workers the opportunity to vote in secret-ballot elections over unionization.

In 1785, Founding Father James Madison, the creator of the basic framework of the U.S. Constitution and a coauthor of the Bill of Rights, championed the secret ballot as “the only radical cure for those arts of Electioneering that poison the very fountain of liberty.”

Union Officials: Secret Ballots Are  Unfair — to Them

Madison’s position did not immediately prevail.

But by the late 19th Century, the secret-ballot vote was indisputably normative for electing federal, state, and local government officials everywhere in the United States.

Nevertheless, Big Labor partisans counterintuitively claim that secret-ballot votes are somehow an unfair means of deciding whether the majority of employees in a federally determined “bargaining unit” favor having a union as their “exclusive” bargaining agent on matters of wages or salaries, benefits, and work rules.

Since early in the 21st Century, union-label members of the U.S. House and Senate have, in multiple Congresses, proposed a “remedy” for the alleged evils they associate with workplace secret-ballot votes. 

Their magic elixir is legislation that would force employers to recognize a union as the monopoly-bargaining agent of all front-line employees if 50% plus one of them signed union authorization cards.

Many Workers ‘Sign Union Cards to Get Union Organizers Off Their Backs’

National Right to Work Committee Vice President Greg Mourad commented:

“Experience shows many employees sign pro-union cards or petitions while union organizers are watching, even though they do not actually favor unionization, then go on to cast votes against the union into a secure ballot box.

“For example, in 2019, culinary union bosses successfully extracted signed cards from a majority of employees of the Red Rock Casino Resort in Las Vegas saying they were in favor of unionization, according to National Labor Relations Board [NLRB] Regional Director Cornele Overstreet.

“But in December of that year, when a secret-ballot vote was held, Red Rock employees rejected the union by a 627 to 534 margin.

“In the words of Clark University’s Gary Chaison, an eminent specialist in industrial relations who passed away this February, many workers ‘sign cards to get union organizers off their backs so they can eventually vote against them in an election.’”

Unfortunately, Big Labor President Joe Biden flatly rejects the longstanding consensus that secret-ballot elections are, with few if any exceptions, far superior to “card checks” as a gauge of whether or not there is majority support among employees for imposition of a union monopoly.

Torching Union Secret-Ballot Elections ‘Critical’ For ‘Strengthening Democracy’??

The rationale for Mr. Biden’s strange stance regarding secret-ballot elections in the workplace was made plain in the first paragraph of a report recently issued by the so-called “Task Force on Worker Organizing and Empowerment” established by the President last year.

The Biden-Harris Administration regards, as the report explained right off the bat, increasing the share of U.S. employees who are subject to “exclusive” union bargaining, by hook or by crook, to be a top, if not the top, objective.

Ignoring highly relevant facts such as the sharp increase in U.S. voting-age presidential election turnout since 1996, even as the national unionization rate has plunged, the report actually declared at its outset that increasing unionization is “critical” for “strengthening our democracy”!

 Even before the Task Force issued its report, Big Labor lackey Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) U.S. House had already gone on record in support of dramatically expanding union bosses’ power to force workers under their monopoly-bargaining control without first allowing them to cast a private ballot.

On February 4, with all but one of the 222 members of Ms. Pelosi’s Democrat caucus voting “aye,” the House rubber-stamped H.R.4521, that chamber’s version of the “America COMPETES” Act.

To Qualify For Taxpayer Subsidies, Businesses Would Have to Allow ‘Card Checks’

Proponents of this legislation claim it would help American companies compete with China by offering taxpayer subsidies to certain industries while putting a host of new restrictions on how and where many domestic companies invest their capital. 

Whether the package of carrots and sticks in the original version of H.R.4521 and its Senate companion would actually make American businesses more competitive is highly debatable.

But just before H.R.4521 came to the floor, an array of worker-coercing and economy-crushing Big Labor special privileges were tacked onto the bill, leaving no reasonable doubt that, if it were passed in its current form, it would harm individual workers and further damage U.S. companies’ competitiveness.

Among the union-label provisions stuck into H.R.4521 at the last minute, the most outrageous of all would require union-free firms wishing to receive federal funding under the legislation to okay in advance Big Labor’s acquisition of monopoly-bargaining power over their employees without any secret-ballot election.

Committee Strategy to Beat Card-Check Scheme Includes Aggressive Media Efforts

Acting at Big Labor Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s behest, the House recently rubber-stamped a scheme forcing firms to submit to card-check unionization of their employees as a condition of receiving taxpayer subsidies. (Credit: Sicherheitskonferenz/ Wikimedia Commons)

“Fortunately,” noted Mr. Mourad, “H.R.4521’s pro-forced unionism changes to the America COMPETES Act are not currently expected to make it through the Senate.

“But Nancy Pelosi’s decision to give the green light for their inclusion in this bill, combined with the unabashed advocacy for mandatory card checks in the Biden Task Force’s February report, sends a clear message that union bosses’ long-running war against the secret ballot is once again heating up.

“With his own polls and those of his pro-forced unionism allies in Congress in the gutter, Joe Biden is determined to motivate powerful union bosses across the country to do everything they can to bail out his presidency, any way he can.

“And the prospect of finally fulfilling their dream of nationwide mandatory card-check unionization is surely something that thrills union officials from AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler on down.

“But the National Right to Work Committee and its more than two million members are fighting back.”

Just before the House roll call on H.R.4521, recalled Mr. Mourad, the Committee contacted every member of the chamber strongly opposing passage of the legislation in its current form, and making it clear that a vote for this scheme would be regarded as a vote against Right to Work.

In March, the Committee’s legislative department distributed to every Capitol Hill office a fact sheet exposing key fallacious claims being made by the Biden Administration to justify its support for mandatory card checks. 

And this spring, Committee President Mark Mix and other Right to Work officers are continuing an aggressive media effort to raise public awareness of how card checks grease the skids for union monopoly bargaining and forced union dues. By making guest appearances on national and local radio talk shows, Right to Work leaders are reaching out to millions of citizens, furnishing them with information they might otherwise have missed.  

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