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Democrats Plot “Compromise” on Workers’ Rights

With December upon us, the first session of the 111th Congress is rapidly coming to a close. Interestingly, one of the year’s first legislative priorities among Democrats and their special interest allies remains unfinished business in these last weeks of the year. The so-called Employee Free Choice Act (better known as “card check” legislation) was supposed to be a shoo-in for enactment. That is, until the American people had their say. Kevin Mooney has the details in a piece posted today by The American Spectator:

“With public opinion heavily weighted against the "card check" provision of the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA), key Democratic senators have signaled their interest in offering up a compromise to mollify moderates in their own party. … 

“Under card check, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) would be required to certify a union without a secret ballot election once labor representatives obtained signatures from 51 percent of a company's workforce.

“In practice this means workers would no longer have the opportunity to debate the merits of a particular union and to cast their votes in private. Moreover, union bosses would be in control of the cards and would know who signed for and against representation. …”

Mooney, “Beyond Card Check,” The American Spectator, 12.01.09 

No wonder workers have rejected card check. Replacing private ballots with a public sign-up process is bound to make workers feel vulnerable to intimidation, coercion, and the threat of retribution. Unfortunately, the compromises now making the rounds among Democratic backers of EFCA are no better – and workers have reason to remain wary of the future:

“The compromise being considered on Capitol Hill calls for workforce representation elections to be held 10 days after 30 percent of workers sign cards in favor of organizing. Although the card check phrase would be dropped, the legislation would be still very weighted against business, Greg Mourad, director of legislation for NRTW, has observed. …

“So far, labor bosses have received little return on their campaign investments in the way of new legislation. Once Democratic leaders clear the deck with healthcare, they will be expected to reintroduce card check, but under a different name.”

Mooney, “Beyond Card Check,” The American Spectator, 12.01.09

Workers beware. It seems the end of 2009 will not be the end of EFCA. Dress it up, strip it down, or change its name – EFCA was, is, and will always be an attack on workers’ rights that ought to be defeated once and for all.