So, let’s be clear. No matter where they’re conducted – the United States, Mexico, or anywhere else – and regardless of the circumstances – whether between two unions or in a single union recognition campaign – the fact remains that, in the best case, card check campaigns expose a worker’s private vote for everyone to see…and, in the worst case, they leave workers wide open to intimidation, coercion, and threats.
So, if it’s not to protect workers, what is the real reason for the card check bill? Two words: desperation and power. Union membership is in sharp decline – down to 12 percent nationwide and seven percent in the private sector. And that trend isn’t showing any signs of reversing.
That is, unless something dramatic occurs.
And that’s where the so-called Employee Free Choice Act comes into play. It gives Big Labor and the Democrats they helped elect one last, best shot at reversing their flagging fortunes. Will it work? Probably not this time around. The bill is likely to stall in the Senate, and President Bush already has pledged a veto should it get that far. But is it a wake-up call for all of us? Absolutely. House Democrats this week are poised to begin chiseling away at democracy in the workplace, and if they’re willing to do something so brash this early in the new Congress, you can’t help but ask, “what’s next?”
Congressman John Kline was elected to represent Minnesota’s Second Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives in 2002, and was re-elected to a second term in 2004.
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