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  • Giving Thanks for the Secret Ballot

    Organized labor has demonstrated why workers should spend some time this Thanksgiving giving thanks for the secret ballot. The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and the National Union of Healthcare Workers (NUHW) “have been sparring for the right to represent 10,000 home health-care workers” in California. The SEIU has not exactly been using kid gloves. One SEIU organizer admitted that “he was encouraged ‘to pressure voters to change the ballot’ and that on one occasion he himself changed a vote to SEIU’s favor.” Other workers reported that SEIU organizers made frequent unwanted trips to their homes and threatened that workers’ would lose their wages and benefits if they voted for the other union.

    But it is not just union members that unions intimidate. The New York Times details how one union treats its own organizers:

    Ms. Rivera and other current and former Unite Here organizers are speaking out against what they say is a longstanding practice in which Unite Here officials pressured subordinates to disclose sensitive personal information — for example, that their mother was an alcoholic or that they were fighting with their spouse …

    More than a dozen organizers said in interviews that they had often been pressured to detail such personal anguish — sometimes under the threat of dismissal from their union positions — and that their supervisors later used the information to press them to comply with their orders …

    Several organizers grew incensed when they discovered that details of their history had been put into the union’s database so that supervisors could use that information to manipulate them.

    These allegations are right out of On the Waterfront. If that is how unions treat each other now, what would they do if Congress stripped workers of the protection of the secret ballot.

    Legislation before Congress – the misnamed Employee Free Choice Act — effectively eliminates secret ballot organizing elections. Instead of workers voting on a union in the privacy of the voting booth, they would publicly sign a union card – in the presence of union organizers. Unions would know exactly who was for them and who was not.

    Enormous amounts of money are on the line when workers vote on unionizing – unions’ collect 1 to 2 percent of their members earnings as mandatory dues. This money creates enormous incentives for union organizers to pressure reluctant employees to sign on the dotted line. If union organizers will threaten, manipulate, and harass union members and union employees, just imagine what they would do to nonunion workers. So this Thanksgiving American workers should pause and give thanks for the secret ballot.

    Posted in Economics [slideshow_deploy]

    7 Responses to Giving Thanks for the Secret Ballot

    1. Roger S., Ma. says:

      Employee "Free" "Choice" Act: Just another piece of legislation with which to "test the conscience of our kings", our representatives' true commitments and priorities: Just another way to know whom to vote out in 2010, 2012, and beyond! Any Congressperson supporting this supports the violation of a fundamental right. Any Congressperson supporting this violates the rights of his voters, and will presumably resent the secret ballot regarding his own candidacy. So why vote for him?

      First and regardless to get "thumbs down" should be those who initiated and sponsored and co-sponsored this particularly egregious piece of proposed legislation. It has no business even being on the docket of any deliberative body in the United States, and its sponsors have no business henceforth holding ever again any public office or other position of trust in our governments, including state government.

      That must be the only logic to apply!

    2. Rayford Davenport says:

      Thugery is not new to unions. Remember Dave Beck and Jimmy Hoffa.History is repeating it's self.

    3. Tim Az says:

      I will use Mao-Bama's words. If a union member brings a knife then you must bring a gun. We must be willing to beat them at their own game or we loose. In short we must organize against the organized. Mmm MMm MMMM

    4. cadli lv. says:

      THis is one more Obama,s favorite agenda to secure the 2012 elections for himself and Democratic[?] party.

    5. Ross writes from Bra says:

      Unions are the protectors of the lazy, long-term incompetent, and bullies. They demand unconditional loyalty from their members using intimidation and violents to enforce that loyalty. Unions are the teachers of mediocrity, laziness, and termite mentality.

      Teacher Unions are the most insidious and hideous of the lot, they deny our children the "best of the best" teachers and have destroyed millions of opportunities for the best and brightest in our schools to excell for three decades or more.

      Then there's the government employee unions; just by the structure of governments, unions will flourish like noxious weed, destroying by stealth and concealment in the tangled vines of government bureauacy, waste, abuse, and corruption.

      I know there are millions of union members who are forced by state law, local intimidation, or job opportunities to join unions, especially teachers. What few rights you have as a union member, the secret ballot is the most important. It is the only tool you have to fight the corruption, bullying, and wastefulness of your dues by union bosses.

      Yes, thank God for that this Thanksgiving!

    6. Dennis Hulse, Palmer says:

      I agree with you Roger S. Those who don't learn the lessons of history will repeat them. My grand father in the 50's used to tell me "…as it is in small circles so it is in big" and chuckle every time he said that. He was a unionist through and through. Thanks to Margret Thatcher she fixed up Britain in the 80's followed by Reagan in America after her and Howard in the 90's in Australia after them. Unionism goes with Communism, Islamism and all the other ..ism's that are power and control centric in their nature. If you loose the secret ballot getting it back will be costly in more ways than one for generations to come. Trust is not given, it is earned by deeds of the past in both small circles and big, that is the lesson of history. Dennis Hulse

    7. Jerry from Chicago says:

      If Obama can change the laws to remove the right to secret ballots for union elections, how long will it be before he does the same for political elections?

      Just like in Philadelphia, he can have a squad of Black Panthers with billy clubs and night sticks looking over your shoulder to make sure you "vote right".

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