Columbus Dispatch: Card Check Harms Employees

In a scathing editorial, the Columbus Dispatch dispatches arguments in favor of the forced-unionism scheme called the Card Check Scam:

The absurdly named Employee Free Choice Act is bad for business and bad for workers, who should look beyond labor leaders’ talking points to discern for themselves the risks of this misguided idea.

Opponents’ name for the bill, card-check, is more accurate because the proposal would allow unions to organize work sites by collecting signatures on cards instead of voting by secret ballot.

Labor say this is to prevent corporations from blocking unionization. The likelier outcome, if this bill becomes law, is that labor organizers more easily can strong-arm workers into unions.

The secret ballot is the cornerstone of democracy and always will be the fairest measure of the will of the majority.

But that’s not all that’s wrong with this Democratic gift to labor. The bill mandates that once a union is certified, management and labor have 120 days to reach a bargaining agreement. If they fail, the matter can go to binding arbitration. Compulsory arbitration is a potentially destructive government intrusion into an employer’s work-force decisions, with the potential to impose a contract incompatible with an employer’s business model. Employees could find themselves subject to contract terms that they had no opportunity to change or vote on.

Also, the measure imposes stiff penalties on companies for violations of federal labor rules during the unionization process. Small- and medium-sized companies, with staffs less familiar with the intricacies of labor law and less able to afford high-priced legal advice, are more likely than major corporations to find themselves penalized heavily.

The bill is aimed at reversing a trend of fewer Americans belonging to unions. But many nonunionized employers pay competitively, so workers see little need for a union and don’t want to their take-home pay reduced by union dues. Plus, employees know that in today’s world market, unionized businesses have a tougher time competing with foreign companies. The U.S. automotive industry’s troubles demonstrate how union-negotiated wages and benefits can burden a company. Also, many worker protections that once were bargained for by unions now are enshrined in law and apply to all workers, unionized or not.

The Democratic-controlled House is expected to approve the measure, but Senate Democrats need at least one Republican to reach 60 votes, the number needed to overcome an expected GOP filibuster this summer. Democrats weren’t surprised by Ohio GOP Sen. George V. Voinovich’s comments on Tuesday against the bill, but they were surprised that Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., who sometimes votes with labor, also opposes the measure.

If Senate Republicans hold firm, they’ll do President Barack Obama a favor, although he is unlikely to admit that publicly.

Obama’s economic advisers are struggling to find ways to rev up the economy; the last thing they need is a federal law making workplaces easier to unionize and reducing those businesses’ ability to compete in a global marketplace.