The political pendulum is swinging with full force towards the powerful interests who helped elect the new congressional majority. Those interests favor big government and a command and control economy. First up, the Democrat controlled Congress is using their new power to propose a bonanza of legislation to try to save big labor. If they succeed, American workers will pay the price.
For all their rhetoric about standing up for all of America’s workers, the Democrats are most interested in preserving a big player in their 1930’s era political machine. Unions certainly need their help. Today, private sector union membership has shrunk to only 7.8 percent of the labor force.
Democratic leaders have promised to bring Senator Ted Kennedy’s Employee Free Choice Act to a vote. The cornerstone of this bill is the “Card Check” provision. Under current law, employees vote by secret ballot in a government monitored election to decide if they would like to join a union and is successful in organizing in a little over half of the cases. This process is however unacceptable to union bosses.
Card Check is a top down system which does away with secret ballots. Employers would be forced to recognize a union without an election is successful with just over 50 percent of workers participating. Card Check removes privacy protections for employees. It opens the workplace to intimidation and corruption, and to say the least, is a violation of the American principle of a secret ballot.
Given their shrinking membership, labor bosses have nothing to lose and everything to gain. UNITE HERE’s Bruce Raynor, a big labor front group, told the New York Times, “There’s no reason to subject the workers to an election.” And you thought Stalin’s ideas were dead?
But why would the Democrats support such an undemocratic, un-American idea?
Just follow the money. According to the Department of Labor, union members paid $7 billion in mandatory dues in the past year. Those dues go to union salaries, strike funds, and political donations. The same Department of Labor report paints a decidedly partisan trend in union support. Of the $8,500,000 spent by the American Federation of State and County Employees, 99 percent went to Democrats, and in a similar fashion, 99 percent of the $7,200,000 given by the UAW went to Democrats as well. According to its campaign reports, the AFL-CIO has spent $8,200,000 to support Democrat leaning 527 groups. The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and the Steelworks also gave 95 percent of all political contributions to Democrats.