Card Check: "Employee Free Choice Act"

Senator Ted Kennedy (D –Mass.) is pushing the “Employee Free Choice Act,” which will actually reduce workplace fairness and democracy. The cornerstone of this bill is the “Card Check” provision. Under current law, employees vote by secret ballot in a government monitored election to decide if they would like to join a union. This process of debate and vote is, however, unacceptable to union bosses who often lose in a fair workplace election. They want to be able to demand that workers make a public decision in front of a union organizer-- literally, "checking a card" instead of having the right to a private vote. Card Check is a top down system which does away with secret ballots. Employers would be forced to recognize a union without an election with just over 50 percent of workers checking "yes." Card Check removes privacy protections for employees. It opens the workplace to intimidation and corruption, and to say the least, is a violation of the American principle of a secret ballot. It is the last gasp of dinosaur unions that are seeing their power and relevance disappear in the information age.
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Urge your U.S. Representative and Senators to oppose “Card Check” in the form of the Employee Free Choice Act
Union bosses are aggressively promoting the benevolent sounding “Employee Free Choice Act.”
But what that bill would do is far less appealing than its name.

1. Card Check is Un-American: The secret ballot is something that as Americans we all hold very dear. It ensures that we may act freely casting a vote as we wish. In the workplace, as in the voting booth on Election Day, this distinctly American right is no less important. Card Check would take this right away from the American worker.

2. Card Check Would Facilitate Union Intimidation in the Workplace: If all union bosses have to do is get 50% plus 1 of workers at a facility to check and sign a card in order to form a union, you can imagine some of the “inventive” ways they would have to coerce and otherwise force workers to sign. Union thugs could go to workers’ houses, prominently post lists of those who had not checked their cards, and even physically threaten workers and their families.

Card Check Would Put Government Bureaucrats at the Helm of American Businesses: Once the government recognizes and certifies a card check union, the business and union would have only 120 days to reach agreement on things like hours, wages, and benefits. If agreement is not reached within this window, then government bureaucrats would step in to force binding arbitration. This means government regulators would be making vital business decisions for companies they very well could know nothing about. Unlike an entrepreneur, these bureaucrats would have nothing invested in these private businesses and therefore no need to fear from the consequences of their actions.

Card Check is Unpopular: The American people don’t want Card Check. A poll conducted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce found that more than 70% of voters favored the current, secret ballot system of forming a union over card check. Even amongst existing union workers, the idea of card check is not held in high regard. A poll conducted by Zogby and Associates found that 63% of union workers believed that stronger protections for the secret ballot process for forming a union were needed.

Card Check Threatens to Break the Very Backbone of American Business: Under Card Check ANY business can form a union without the protections of a secret ballot and subject to the whims of government bureaucrats. Think about a hair salon, supermarket or electronics store forming a card check union and how the demands of that union could drive up your costs for everyday products and services you may take for granted. Particularly for small and medium sized businesses, the very lifeblood of our economy, card check would hamstring their ability to make sound business decisions and no doubt put many on Main Street out of business.

Card Check Doesn’t Work: A lesson here can be learned from the Canadian Province of British Columbia. They adopted the card check process for forming a union in the 1980’s. However, after a massive outcry from BC citizens, the media, and even leading academics for workplace democracy in the face of union intimidation and coercion, the province went back to the secret ballot in 2001.

Card Check is Unfair: Under Card Check, employers would face stiff penalties for any violations during the process of a new union forming. Only the employers however would be subject to these penalties – not the unions. Especially for small and medium sized business not used to the complicated and red-tape ridden process of forming a union, this is unfair.

Card Check's Supporters Have Built Their Case on Demagoguery and Outright Lies: For years, union leadership has bemoaned the sorry state of the American workplace and the poor, downtrodden American worker. In 2006 the head of the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) compared the plight of the American worker with those living in the inner-city. And in 2007 the president of the Services Employees International Union (SEIU) claimed that the “American Dream was at risk” with workers making less and feeling worse off. The truth is that over nearly the last 40 years while union membership has been on the decline, household median income has risen approximately 30%. And, despite union bosses gloom and doom, Gallup Polls taken last year found that 90% of American workers were satisfied with their jobs.

9. Card Check
Would Further Threaten Our Fragile Economy and Hurt Jobs: As evidenced by the recent problems in the American auto industry, where cushy union contracts that guaranteed workers’ wages were nearly twice the fair market value, the stranglehold of union power is dragging down some of the country’s biggest businesses and triggering multi-billion dollar taxpayer funded bailouts and mass layoffs. Under Card Check this problem would only be exacerbated as the tentacles of the unions spread to more and more industries, threatening them during these tough economic times just as they have the Big 3 auto manufactures. A recent poll conducted by McLaughlin and Associates found that more than half who were surveyed believed that card check would lead to fewer jobs and cause more businesses to close their doors.

Card Check is Really About Building the Liberal Left’s Political Machine: The Center for Responsive Politics credits various labor unions as eight of the top ten all-time political givers. In 2004, union political money topped $925 million. This money comes from forced dues that unions impose upon their members, and the giving skews sharply on behalf of Democrats at all levels of government. The calculus for unions is simple: pass card check to make it easier to form more unions and thereby recruit more members; raise more political money through forced union dues; elect more Democrats.

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CDW is working to permanently defeat the "card check" legislation that would take away the private ballot, and to let Members of Congress and presidential candidates know not only how harmful it is, but that we will hold them responsible for how they vote. The success or failure of this issue will be determined by our ability to make our voice heard. We need your help to fight this legislation now.
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