Tuesday, February 27, 2007


Having helped get the Democrats back in power, the Unions are calling in their favors, and the Democrats are responding -- putting forth a bill that would weaken national security but strengthen big labor, and in another bill, essentially doing away with democracy in the unionizing process.

As this article points out, in the House and Senate bills ostensibly implementing recommendations of the 9/11 Commission:

As a big payback to . . . powerful union bosses, the Democratic bill include[s] language that overturns rules disallowing the Transportation Security Administration's 43,000 airport screeners from unionizing.

Congress created the TSA post-9/11 to fix airports' deficient security. But it prohibited collective bargaining precisely because it was known that it would compromise screeners' nimbleness and ability to respond to varying security demands.

And that move came shortly after congressional Democrats' successful efforts to strip from the Port Security Act a measure the International Longshoremen's Association considered bothersome.

Passed while Congress was still Republican-held, the law originally featured an amendment by Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) imposing a seven-year-freeze on hiring dock workers convicted of murder, bribery, identity fraud, illegal-firearms possession and other crimes.

Democrats, led in part by Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), successfully stripped the provision during House-Senate conference committee.

You have to love the Democrats. If you are a friend of theirs, there is nothing you can't ask for. Even if it will clearly impact on national security. And then there is the Employee Free Choice Act:

Labor unions hope this exquisitely mistitled act, which the House of Representatives probably will pass this week, will compensate for their dwindling persuasiveness as they try to persuade workers to join. It would allow unions to organize workplaces without workers voting for unionization in elections with secret ballots. Instead, unions could use the "card check" system: Once a majority of a company's employees signs a card expressing consent, the union is automatically certified as the bargaining agent for all the workers.

Unions say the card-check system is needed to protect workers from anti-union pressure by employers before secret-ballot elections. Such supposed pressure is one of organized labor's alibis for declining membership.

There are, however, ample protections against employer pressures that really are abusive. Tellingly, the act would forbid employers from trying to influence -- pressure? -- employees by improving their lot: It would fine employers that, to reduce the incentive to unionize, give workers "unilateral" -- not negotiated -- improvements in compensation or working conditions during attempts at unionization. Clearly, the act aims less to help workers than to herd them as dues-payers into unions.

Under the card-check system, unions are able to, in effect, select the voters they want. It strips all workers of privacy and exposes them, one at a time, to the face-to-face pressure of union organizers who distribute and collect the cards. The Supreme Court has said that the card-check system is "admittedly inferior to the election process."

Repealing a right -- to secret ballots -- long considered fundamental to democratic culture would be a radical act. But labor is desperate.

Read the whole article from George Will. This one is beyond the pall.

Update: Powerline is following this one. They report that the Not Quite Free Choice Act passed the House by 228-183 with only 2 democrats breaking ranks.

Only two Dems were willing to stand up to the unions' pressure, Gene Taylor of Mississippi and Dan Boren of Oklahoma. Keep that in mind next time you hear nonsense in the press about "Blue Dog" Democrats, "conservative" Democrats, and next time you hear anyone try to tell you that the Democrats care anything about working men and women.

Read the whole post here. The Hill is following up the battle in the senate over the 9-11 legislation that contains the provisions allowing unionization of TSA workers. See there article here.

1 comment:

Elliot Andrews said...

Secret ballots are necessary. Sometimes it seems that labor activists do not consider honest disagreement to be possible. Consider the rhetoric that labor has always used to advance its purposes. Any employer who prefers to remain non-union is a “union buster” and lumped in with the “bad actors.”Cross a picket line – you’re a “scab.” Decline to pay union dues – you’re a “free rider.” Think unions have served their purpose? – you need a "frontal lobotomy." And, God forbid, you decide to work for management – you are, in the words of one pro-labor blogger, a “Turncoat Organizer [who] Drowns in Corporate Cash .” This type of rhetoric certainly gives one pause to consider whether an employee who declines to sign a card will be treated with respect by a union.

In 2005 alone, some 5,405 Charges were filed against unions alleging “illegal restraint and coercion of employees” and 594 Charges alleged “illegal union discrimination against employees.” (2005 NLRB Annual Report, p. 15). Is this reflective of most union organizers? Probably not. But the conduct currently being attributed across-the-board to management is also not typical. In those cases where “bad actors” from either side exist, a secret ballot is the only way to determine an employee’s “free choice.”



View My Stats