The Grand Rapids Press: Fight Card Check Scam

The Grand Rapids Press is calling for the defeat of the Card Check Scam Bill:

Under the Employee Free Choice Act, a majority of employees simply need to sign a card expressing a willingness to join the union. Workers would likely make this crucial decision in the presence of union organizers, who would undoubtedly exercise considerable influence over them. Fellow workers would probably know who voted and how. So would bosses. Unions could still call a secret election, but the company’s right to demand one, something that is typically done now, would be taken away.

In addition to undermining secret ballots, the act would force companies to enter binding arbitration for a new union’s first contract and toughen penalties for companies that violate labor laws.

The act strikes at the heart of a basic tenet of democratic elections — the guarantee that people can cast their ballots without fear of retribution or coercion. Before a labor organizing vote takes place, unions and employers should have full and equal access to employees to make their respective cases. If that is not happening now, as union leaders claim, Congress should write laws to make sure it does.

However, when the public debate is done, workers deserve the right to weigh the momentous decision about joining a union with only their own consciences and considerations as guides. Anything less than a protected secret ballot is simply anti-democratic.

Both sides agree that the Employee Free Choice Act would be the biggest change to labor law since the 1930s. Unions are demanding it in part because they’ve seen their numbers decline as a percentage of the work force in the last few decades. Passing this bill may help them recoup membership losses, but not on fair terms.

The Employee Free Choice Act is divisive politics and bad policy. The measure won’t help workers. It certainly won’t help Mr. Obama as he seeks to change the tone of Washington.