Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Warner and Connolly Support Compulsory Union Membership

Secret Ballots for Me, but not for Thee

Hat tip: Anonymous Is a Woman

I do not normally link to my fellow bloggers on the left side of the political spectrum, but in this case I wanted to thank Karen of Anonymous is a Woman for posting this information. At a recent AFL-CIO Fourth of July picnic, Democratic Senate candidate Mark Warner endorsed the (“exquisitely mistitled, in the words of George Will) “Employee Free Choice Act,” which is a union-backed ploy to intimidate workers into approving labor unions in the workplace (cosponsored by Senator Jim Webb among others). AIAW also indicated that 11th CD Democratic candidate Gerry Connolly supports this legislation.

The proposed legislation, which has already failed in the current Congress, has a provision called “card check” While its left-wing supporters give the usual heart-felt speeches about how it gives workers a “choice” about whether or not to join a union without those eeeeeeevil bosses interfering with their decisions, it in fact allows unions to organize a workplace without a secret ballot. Employees must publicly declare support or opposition to unionization, and thus be subjected to notorious labor union harassment and intimidation techniques.

Karen helpfully posted a link to an AFL-CIO web page that claimed that 60% of workers would join a union if they just had the chance. Well, heck, I say, give them a secret ballot and let’s have a vote! Isn’t it ironic that politicians who are elected via secret ballot want to take that right away from American workers?

We all know the real reason for this – labor unions in the private sector have declined in membership for years. The unions need coerced dues money for political purposes (er, to contribute to worthy non-profits) to push their left-wing agenda. The old generation of union organizers and union members has been dying off, thus leading to labor’s desperation. In addition, free market ideas concerning portability of benefits, personal retirement accounts, and school choice (not to mention legacy costs imposed on stockholders and taxpayers by the union agreements of old) have helped demonstrate to a more mobile society that the bureaucratic power of union leaders is outmoded and even counterproductive.

In many ways, I do feel sorry having to write this. My grandfather, a 1930s era card-carrying communist, was a union organizer. I know enough history to realize that unions did play a role in getting workers safer working conditions in many occupations. Many unionized workers do believe in doing good work for their employers and customers. However, the same 1930s mentality contains an overly adversarial relationship that only hurts employers and workers. Unfortunately, the strong-arm tactics that have persisted throughout the years have only made the “On the Waterfront” image of the unions persist.

I realize that Karen and I will disagree on the intent and outcome of the card check legislation, but I thought that this issue deserved (some admittedly backhanded) publicity. So Karen, I do respect your opinion.

By the way, I also hope that Mark Warner, Gerry Connolly, and other Democrats advertise loudly their support for this legislation. The bloggers who support these candidates should do all they can to spread the word as well, and post more videos just like Karen did. Maybe the candidates will post them on their web sites. With any luck, 11th CD Republican nominee Keith Fimian and the Republican Senate nominee, former Governor Gilmore, will help voters understand the agenda of the Democrats as well.

For those of you in other States, please remember that your Democratic candidates most likely support the same legislation. It is your duty to find out.