USA Today, the country’s largest newspaper, came out firmly against the Employee Free Choice Act today, concluding the legislation known as “card check” would undermine democratic principles. Heritage has written extensively on the legislation, most recently criticizing the measure for eliminating the secret ballot for union organization. USA Today didn’t think very highly of that provision either:
Under a major rewrite of U.S. labor law being promoted by unions, when more than 50% of employees sign authorization cards, the NLRB would have to recognize the new union. No campaign. No secret ballot.
This misguided measure passed the House shortly after Democrats took the majority in 2007. But it needs several more votes in the Senate and a president who will sign it. Barack Obama supports it; John McCain does not. It’s no surprise, then, that the AFL-CIO plans to spend an eye-popping $200 million this election cycle to support Obama and Democratic candidates for Congress. A win for Obama and big gains for Senate Democrats could remove the remaining obstacles to the euphemistically named “Employee Free Choice Act.”
Cajoled choice is more like it. The proposed change would give unions and pro-union employees more incentive to use peer pressure, or worse, to persuade reluctant workers to sign their cards. And without elections, workers who weren’t contacted by union organizers would have no say in the final outcome.
The USA Today editorial follows speculation by blogger Mickey Kaus that “Dems are getting set to pass ‘card check’ legislation fast next year, right out of the box, assuming Obama wins and the Democrats get their expected big Senate majority.”