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  • Not-So-Secret Nonsense

    Democracy itself is under attack from union bosses. Teamsters President Jim Hoffa issued a press release Wednesday saying, “Since when is the secret ballot a basic tenet of democracy?”

    He’s trying to excuse the inexcusable. Hoffa and other union bosses want to strip away workers’ right to a secret ballot election when deciding whether their workplace will join a union. The “card check” bill in Congress would let unions bypass the election process.

    Hoffa’s comment echoes the head of Utah’s AFL-CIO, who recently called a secret ballot guarantee, “unnecessary and antidemocratic.

    Since union leaders care so little about the rights of prospective members, how far will they go next to undercut the rights of everyone else?

    The history of secret ballots is well-known, even if not to Hoffa.

    Democracy originated in early Greece. Its integrity depends on the ability to cast a vote in private, free of intimidation or retribution. Early Greek voting was often done by writing a name on a shard of broken pottery and dropping it into a vase. Australia pioneered the pre-printed secret ballot in the 1850’s. In post-Civil War America’s reconstruction, secret ballot guarantees protected newly-freed slaves from physical intimidation and even lynching if they “voted wrong.” Secret ballots became the norm in America during the 1892 presidential election of Grover Cleveland.
    Back to Hoffa. His statement continued, “Town meetings in New England are as democratic as they come, and they don’t use the secret ballot. Elections in the Soviet Union were by secret ballot, but those weren’t democratic.”

    But town hall meetings are typically discussion sessions and not an occasion for elections. Soviet elections were the tribute that vice pays to virtue. It made a mockery of secret ballots when only one name was printed and no write-ins were allowed. Saddam Hussein used the same trick in Iraq.

    Union leaders are making light of fundamental rights, but it’s not funny to anyone else.

    Posted in Economics [slideshow_deploy]

    12 Responses to Not-So-Secret Nonsense

    1. Robbins Mitchell says:

      Well,why would anybody expect anything different from the Brotherhood of Grunt Racketeers?

    2. Ozzy6900, CT says:

      Town meetings in New England do not use secret ballots, that is true. But those opposed are not taken out back and beaten to a pulp, either! Those opposed are not threatened nor are their houses pelted with human excrement!

      Unions cannot deal with the fact that there are many people that just do not want them. Unions cannot deal with the fact that THEY are the biggest cause of us loosing our jobs and work to foreign countries. Unions have forgotten that they were supposed to protect the worker. Instead, they try to run the business and dictate terms. Business could get rid of Unions if they would just treat properly.

    3. ra,ohio says:

      Socialism, pure and simple.

    4. Tucker, Michigan says:

      When I worked at one of the Michigan prisons, I was forced to join the union. I had never worked under a union contract therefore had no idea what it was all about. All I knew was they were taking a chunk of my money. I learned of co-workers who had had their jobs "saved" by the union for infractions ANY employer would not have tolerated and surely terminated them for, including felonious sexual relations with inmates. EVERY DAY, I worked with people who complained, complained, and complained about working conditions, pay, benefits, management, policies, procedures, doctors, nurses, inmates, and everything in between. They also treated the inmates as sub-human, apparently thinking it was in their job description to punish them. Of course, as most people would, the inmates would retaliate in numerous ways of acting out and then receive further punishment. I would treat the inmates with respect, believing that all human beings have inherent value, and never had any problems with any of them.—-I went to 2 union meetings which were poorly attended, where there was mostly eating and drinking alcohol paid for by the union (I don't drink) and alot more of the complaining. I find it hard to believe very many decisions made by unions, or even by the Senate & Congress, are not done so under the influence of alcohol and maybe drugs. Are any of these people subject to random drug and alcohol testing or treatment?

      By the way, the co-workers I was referring to above? Our jobs were so easy, policies & procedures completely reasonable, management of the finest calibur, and still these people wanted more to do less. On top of that they would bring their personal problems to work and subject everyone around them to their misery, which accounts for the poor working conditions. I eventually had to leave….life is too short for that madness.

      So, my perception of union activity is this: They, through intimidation, help people keep their jobs who don't want to follow the rules or earn their pay, which causes resentment and a hostile work environment with the other employees. The end.

    5. Neal Lang, Boca Rato says:

      "Elections in the Soviet Union were by secret ballot, but those weren’t democratic.”

      They didn't call it the Soviet "Union" for nothing!

    6. Tim AZ says:

      Here's what I recommend. Do not buy products made by union laber when ever possible. It will save you a lot of money and annoy the union thugs. At the same time their influence is continually diminished as businesses are bankrupted by the uonion's greed just like GM.

    7. Ross, Bradenton Fla says:

      Unions need to have their monopoly protection removed and treated like any other business,for a business they are. The largest segment of union members are found at all levels of government. Why would government employees need to have a union,the civil service regulations are nothing more than a union organization. I've observed that to many government employees are like the early space rockets, "they won't work and you can't fire them." Look what the teachers union has done for America, it surely hasn't been educating our children over the last 40 years! So I would like to see all government employee unions be eliminated. Reagan did it with airtraffic controller union(and Reagan was a union member and past president of the Motion Picture Guile). That could mean the death knoll of big unions.

    8. Leslie, Arlington, V says:

      If secret ballots became the norm in 1892, then Americans voted without the secret ballot for a century. Were those elections undemocratic?

      New England town (not "town hall") meetings are not just discussions. Residents vote on the budget and other warrants during town meetings.

      Are the Iowa caucuses undemocratic?

    9. Philip, Honolulu, HI says:

      I am in the Army and work at an Army hospital in Hawaii. I work on the psychiatric ward. The analogy that was used – "they don't work and you can't fire them" is spot on. We have a gentlemen (civilian) that has countless written and oral complaints against him ranging from sexual harassment to sexual assault that date back 5 years. It has been a consistent pattern in his behavior for his entire GS (government Service) career. He cannot be fired. Though many, many, many people have tried. It is utterly ridiculous and contributes to the low morale of the workplace while also accounting for the lack of motivation. "If this guy can be like this and not get fired, why should I bust my hump?" I have heard that time and time again from my civilian counterparts. If all unions are like this, they should be disbanded immediately once and for all.

    10. Marshall Hill MI. says:

      Ask the Unions to Photograph the Voting of all Union Officials while in the Booth!No tell them!

    11. //R. /WORTMAN says:

      If employers, Boards of Corporations, Contractors were to call special meetings of all

      employees occasionally to do verbal satisfaction surveys pertaining to work requirements, environments, and wages: and present the company's, corporation's, owner's status and outline future hope for the business and include hope for all the employee's future – the unions would not be able to get a foot in the door.

      The reason employee's join unions is because they feel their superior's are using them unfairly, i.e. when the employee is held at minimum wage while their superior is getting rich.

    12. Andrea, Honolulu HI says:

      Philip in Hawaii — I actually came across this site while researching whether I should bother making a sexual harassment report against a GS worker at the Army Hospital, I presume we are talking about the same place. I've concluded it won't do any good in removing him from his position, but it will *hopefully* end the retribution I have faced for turning down his sexual advances. At least I hope it will. :/

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