Sen. Shelby: Free Choice is a Secret Ballot

Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL) has a guest column in the Madison Record where he makes a strong case against the Card Check Forced Unionism Bill (H.R. 800/S.1041), pending in Congress right now. The highlights:

The proposed legislation would allow union organizers to ask workers to sign their ballot cards in the open – publicizing their vote and creating an awkward and potentially intimidating environment. Once a majority of a company’s employees express consent by signing voting cards, the union would automatically be certified as the bargaining agent for all the workers.

This legislation takes away workers’ voting privacy and exposes them to the outside pressure of the union organizers who are the distributors and collectors of the vote cards. Eliminating the right to a secret ballot is the antithesis of democracy and not an appropriate way for labor to organize. Therefore, I will continue to support a secret ballot for Alabama’s workers and oppose the “Employee Free Choice Act.”

While this legislation was aggressively pushed through the U.S. House of Representatives on a clear party-line vote, it is my hope that the majority of my colleagues in the Senate will join me in opposing this harmful bill that will only serve to undercut the great strides Alabama’s workers have made to boost the economy in recent years.

Recently, I cosigned a letter to Senate leadership expressing my opposition to the “Employee Free Choice Act.” It was signed with enough other members of the Senate to prevent the bill’s passage.

Alabama has a robust economy in large part due to our tremendous workforce. We are a right-to-work state, neither forcing nor prohibiting participation in a union. Instead of creating new federal laws that favor power grabs by the unions, we need to build on our already strong economy which has attracted numerous new companies to make investments in Alabama.

From the Mercedes plant in Tuscaloosa to the Honda plant in Lincoln and from the Hyundai plant in Montgomery to the EADS facility in Mobile, successful businesses recognize that Alabama is a smart place to do business and that our workers are some of the best in the world. We must continue to create further opportunities in our state and focus on working to attract even more new businesses and jobs, rather than taking rights away from Alabama’s workers. Alabama workers have partnered with business and together they have created a vibrant economy. The so-called “Employee Free Choice Act” would do nothing but harm our workers, our businesses, and our economy.