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  • Americans Use Secret Ballot to Help Stop Big Labor Assault on Secret Ballot

    Big Labor’s number one priority in the 111th Congress was the Employee Free Choice Act. Also known as check, the law would have allowed union organizers to publicly solicit workers’ signed union authorization cards. If a majority of a company’s workers signed cards, then all workers would be forced to join the union without any opportunity to vote in a secret ballot election. Since union organizers would know exactly who did and did not sign cards, they could pressure the holdouts to change their mind.

    Fortunately, card check did not pass the 111th Congress. But citizens in four states wanted to make sure their voices were heard on the issue. So Arizona, South Carolina, South Dakota, and Utah all had measures on the ballot that amended their state constitutions to better protect the secret ballot in organizing elections. All four measures passed by 20 points or more.

    The American people do not want the government to take away workers’ right to a secret ballot and they do not want workers to be pressured into joining a union. Unions do not always benefit workers, and workers should be free to decide privately whether they want to join. Unions often hurt the companies they organize. Studies typically find that unionized companies invest less than nonunion companies and lose jobs at higher rates. When unions do win above-market wages it puts workers at particular risk of losing their jobs. Economists have also found that states with more union members took considerably longer than those with fewer union members to recover from the 1982 and 1991 recessions. Workers should have the right to privately decide whether they want to join a union. Yesterday the American people said they agreed.

    Posted in Economics [slideshow_deploy]

    26 Responses to Americans Use Secret Ballot to Help Stop Big Labor Assault on Secret Ballot

    1. Lisa, Californaia says:

      Do you believe workers in today's union jobs should be able to make a living wage? Should they be able to have safe work environments? Should they be able to live above the poverty line, have health care and feed their families? This is why we have unions. And to to give a voice to the voiceless.

      I find it difficult to absorb how unions are a threat. Today, people bemoan the loss of the middle class in America today. Yet it was the systematic destruction of union power that began the dismantling of that middle class.

      Surely, you don't believe in the idea of Corporate Responsibility protecting workers. Right?

      • Chuck, Virginia says:

        I believe that workers should be able to make a living wage but that employers should not be required by law to pay more than the worker is worth in order to bring the compensation up to a living wage. I believe that workers should be able to have safe work environments, but I don't believe that unions are the heroes in that fight. Employers have an interest in providing safe working environments because they compete among themselves for workers.

        Unions too often get in bed with management after trading away safety concerns for concession on other benefits. The middle class is mostly unaffected by diminishing union power. Too few workers are unionized compared to the total work force. If anything, the middle class benefits from the disappearance of labor unions by lower prices, greater productivity and more products on the market.

      • Chuck, Virginia says:

        Labor unions don't protect he worker, they protect the jobs of the union leaders. They bankrupt companies by making them uncompetitive, forcing the worker to go job hunting, but union bosses don't lose their jobs. Labor unions are universally corrupt, costing workers their pensions after the workers have paid dues for their whole career. Labor unions are now the brown shirts for socialist leaning regimes and administrations. This is sad because the first things liquidated when socialists seize complete control are the labor unions.

    2. Sean, Washington says:

      CARD check. And… this is just one of many items on the Democrat's agenda that I'll be glad to see thwarted.

    3. Bill, MD says:

      To the first responder in the comments from California: "How are the unions working for your state". My impression is that the reason that California is broke is because of the huge influence of unions (state, county and local) that refuse to negotiate their benefits and pensions. They seem to be under the impression that a unionized work force should be immune from the same economic forces that effect the private sector. So now California has to reach further into everyone's pockets to protect the unions. The end result is that the producers (those wretched "rich" people and corporations" are moving in droves from the state leaving the "middle class" to pay more and more taxes for the priveledge of living in the Golden State. I thought you people finally got it, but you continue to demonize the current Governor and just elected a far left socialist to perpetuate the fiscal woes. My hope is that your state will NOT be bailed out by the federal government and will be forced to deal with the problems that the progressives have brought upon yourselves…

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    5. Steve, Ohio says:

      Lisa, to answer: First of all, none of these are "rights" that are granted by anybody, especially not the government, but if people put forth an effort, our government says they are free to pursue them, and most likely they will be able to gain these things. But more specifically, if by "living wage" you mean a wage that is competitive with those of other companies doing similar work, then yes. A safe environment? yes but that is what OSHA and national labor laws are for. Live above the poverty line? Health care? Feed families? see my comments about competitive wages and working hard. But the point you are missing is that everything you believe people should have do not currently require union intervention. The unions don't add any value in any of these areas, and they subtract value by causing problems for their employers, as indicated in the article. Unions are parasites, living off the money and power they grab from their membership, and using it only to push the leadership higher and higher in "elite" status.

    6. Tim AZ says:

      The threat of unions very real not only to businesses and non unions citizens but, to the laborers that belong to them. Very soon union laborers will begin to discover that the dues they have been paying to the union leaders has all been spent with none left fore their pension plans. It remains to be seen who the laborers will demonstrate their anger towards. Will it be the union leaders that stole the money or the local infrastructure in an attempt to intimidate the tax payers into replacing the money stolen from the laborers by the union leaders. We will have to wait and see if the laborers can be bamboozled once again by their union leaders.

    7. Tim AZ says:

      The threat of unions is very real not only to businesses and non unions citizens but, to the laborers that belong to them. Very soon union laborers will begin to discover that the dues they have been paying to the union leaders has all been spent with none left fore their pension plans. It remains to be seen who the laborers will demonstrate their anger towards. Will it be the union leaders that stole the money or the local infrastructure in an attempt to intimidate the tax payers into replacing the money stolen from the laborers by the union leaders. We will have to wait and see if the laborers can be bamboozled once again by their union leaders.

    8. Atl, Georgia says:

      What about advancing within a company based on merit? With unions, seniority is more important and there is little motivation to have better then average performance.

    9. Dennis Georgia says:

      Unions had their time and place, they are no longer needed or wanted, unless you are lazy and are willing to pay someone to get a check for sitting on your butt. Card check needs to stay dead.

    10. E.J. West Virginia says:

      It's quite easy to see where "union control" have also wrecked the economy and the quality of life, Take Nevada, for instance where Reid was able along with union thugs to control his re-election, and States like California going under because of forced unionism, and here in West Virginia along with Democrats controlling the poverty status that we never seem to be able to climb out of, Unions do more to stiffle free enterprise than anything other than communism, which they're usually in bed with anyway.

    11. Old_Soldier,Cyberspa says:

      @Lisa from California….You don't honestly believe that Unions are the fix for all that ails the working and middle class of this country do you? Unions are free to spend your dues as they see fit and they do. Unions are free to harass the company to get what they want for the workers and sometimes that is not a good thing for those they are supposedly trying to help. Unions can use YOUR donations to help fund political campaigns and they need not tell you that you CAN tell them no. Too many times unions are not a good idea for a company or it's workers. Who takes care of the workers financially when they go on strike? Who feeds their families when their savings and union support (if any) runs dry while they are on strike for 3 or 4 months? I've been a part of helping to unionize 1 small company (less then 50 employees) and they immediately went on strike. They chose to do this despite the fact that Thanksgiving and Christmas were right upon us. Those employees and their families suffered through the holidays and were still on strike 3 months later. I had moved out of state by then so I was fortunate. Spare me the drivel of how unions are the counter balance to the evil greedy corporate power brokers. Unions are a problem, much like the greedy corporations are, and this issue is but one of many where unions have tried to throw their weight around AGAINST the will of the people in this country. Those same people they are trying to protect.

    12. Donny, Virginia says:

      Look at the financial health of the companies, cities and states that are eat up with unions and then tell me that unions are a good idea.

      Look at the facts not the hype. Unions started out as a good thing but now their time is gone. Why have so many companies moved to other countries? Unions. Why has so many companies moved to other states? Unions. Unions are now the death of jobs and success in this country.

    13. RW, Arizona says:

      The "card check" law sought by liberals is/was an affront to our freedoms. There is NOTHING in the Arizona proposition (which passed by a 2 to 1 margin) that prohibits any union from attempting to organize a workplace. It simply says that a worker has a state constitutional right to a secret ballot, thus dramatically reducing the opportunity for union OR company harrassment or coercion during a certification or decertification vote. There are good (and bad) reasons for organizing a workplace, but a worker should be free to make his/her own choice without some thug looking over his/her shoulder and threatening those who vote "the wrong way." And anyone who thinks that wouldn't happen with "card check" is naive.

    14. Drew Page, IL says:

      Where does this nonsense stop? Are all secret ballots to be eliminated in the voting booth? Will Americans be required to tell the the New Black Panther Party who they will be voting for before they are allowed into a polling place?

      What is the financial shape of those states where politicians have sold out to the unions California, N.Y., N.J., and Illinois? You know what shape these states are in; they are either bankrupt or next to it. And how much longer will it be before these states, all Democrat run, show up at the White House with their hands out, demanding that the federal government "do something". That will mean that those states that have exercised financial responsibility will have to penalize its own citizens to bail-out the states that have been absolutely fiscally irresponsible. I say this is B.S.

    15. BoB, Georgetown, LA says:

      Just a couple of questions. Do you Union members like the fact that the Union puts so much money into elections and candidates that you may not want to vote for?

      How many Union members does it take to do the job of one non-union person?

    16. Paula Q - Hartland W says:

      Lisa from CA – Keep in mind that the SEIU bragged that it spent tens of millions dollars of it's union dues on electing Obama. Those millions would have gone a long way to pay pensions and healthcare. Unions played an important role in the building of this nation, but they have morphed into political arms of the Democrat Party – huge fundraising and voting machines. Free enterprise and capitalism are what will give every American the opportunity to feed their families, have health care, live above the poverty line – all the things you mentioned. Contrary to your belief no one owes you anything.

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    18. Eric Magnuson says:

      Lisa from California – if you can't make the argument you want, than try to change the argument. The post was about card check and the right to a secret ballot, not unions. I like how you attempt to distract everyone with your tired and cliche – ridden defense of unions. Fail.

    19. Walter. Michigan says:

      The federal government should not bail out any state that is in financial trouble. The state should solve their own spending issue. All states and the federal government should not be allowed to go into debt. When you are in debt you cannot move forward. Stopping the reckless spending at all levels of govenment would be a good thing. It seems we should see the light that right to work states are thriving while states that are heavily union are going down hill.

    20. Ben says:

      Lisa, Unions are a lot like lawyers in this regard. When you need them, you need them. If people are unable to make living wage or working in unsafe conditions, a union is their best way out.

      However, when conditions are good, unions are generally a bad thing. Look at the disaster of GM. They had unskilled and marginally skilled laborers fresh out of high school making more money than degreed engineers in the oil industry. GM was unable to reduce jobs after efficiency increases, leading to the ludicrous stories of the job banks. The unions were a primary source of the bankruptcy.

      This isn't even mentioning the massive suits-vs-boots divisions in companies that unions feed and nourish. If an engineer has never turned a valve in his life, then how can he be expected to properly run his unit? If a manager helps pick up the mess when a printing press spew a thousand newspapers in the air, he will be regarded as a good boss in a non-union plant, and a horrid troublemaker in a union one.

      The ability to strongarm the unionization process would throw us right back to the gilded age and the return of the Mafia-controlled Big-Labor

    21. Tommy, Tucson says:

      Employment is subject to that good old economic principle of "supply & demand". The company is going to hire the "best" person for the job. Management will consider numerous issues to determine who is "best". This includes determining the wage and benefits package. If the job is sweeping floors, minimum wage may attract enough "qualified" candidates. If the job is manufacturing parts for the space shuttle, the pay must be higher in order to attract a candidate that can perform this task correctly and not produce a product that will possibly cost the company the contract. When unions take control of the labor force they attempt to monopolize the labor pool and inflate the costs to the company. To some degree, the union workers may be more qualified and be worth the extra cost by producing a better product more efficiently. If the union becomes too demanding the company will not be able to remain competitive and will lose customers. Unions have attempted to get the government to pass laws that force the companies to comply with union demands. They can pass all the laws they want but it still makes the company non-competitive and ultimately will collapse, or move overseas so they can continue to exist. The trick is to have things balanced in such a way as to provide adequate wages/benefits without destroying the business. Heavy-handed union officials or unreasonable corporate bosses are not the answer.

    22. Char, Michigan says:

      Every effort must be made to resist the card check concept. Union control almost always means inefficiency. Personal experience with public sector union office in California very frustrating. There is no urge to provide prompt efficient service. The (way) above national average unemployment rate of Michigan can be laid squarely at the door of the UAW. Detroit is a drag on the entire state. Could we give it to Canada?

    23. Jeff, WA says:

      A dedicated Teamsters union worker was attending a convention in Las Vegas and decided to check out the local brothels. When he got to the first one, he asked the Madam, "Is this a union house?"

      "No" she replied, "I'm sorry it isn't."

      "Well, if I pay you $100, what cut do the girls get?" "The house gets $80 and the girls get $20,'"she answered.

      Offended at such unfair dealings, the union man stomped off down the street in search of a more equitable, hopefully unionized shop. His search continued until finally he reached a brothel where the Madam responded, "Why yes sir, this is a union house. We observe all union rules."

      The man asked, "And, if I pay you $100, what cut do the girls get?" "The girls get $80 and the house gets $20."

      "That's more like it!" the union man said.

      He handed the Madam $100, looked around the room, and pointed to a stunningly attractive green-eyed blonde.

      "I'd like her," he said.

      "I'm sure you would, sir," said the Madam. Then she gestured to a 92-year old woman in the corner, "but Ethel here has 67 years seniority and according to union rules, she's next.'"

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