Michael McBride

I work in a successful American industry. We have dozens of manufacturing plants across the country, and we provide live-able wage jobs for our employees, with significant benefits…and we have been the target of union organizing several times over the last decade…let me interpret the above paragraph for those unfamiliar with the union organizing process.

Currently, unions are free to solicit employees concerning their interest in joining a union. Typically this is done through some informational briefings where the union organizers explain the benefits of union representation to those interested in the possibility of being represented by that union. These sessions typically culminate with employees being urged to sign Union Authorization Cards.

Under current law, if a union can present to management a number of cards, equal to or greater than 50% of the employee population, the union can solicit for immediate representation, BUT the employer is not obligated to grant this immediate representation, but may defer instead to hold a secret ballot election.

Oh, and incidentally, there is no standard to which the Union Authorization Cards must be filled out, nor the obligation for the organizers to clearly explain the power of these cards. Often employees feel that they are just showing an interest by signing a card, not understanding how much they are empowering a union that does not yet represent them. In a previous drive at this company over 600 employees demanded their signed cards back because of such misleading tactics, the union refused, and counted those 600 cards towards their potential “membership.” To an unprepared employer, and unwitting employees…simply being presented with a stack of UACs that is equal to fifty percent of the workforce, could mean union representation without a secret ballot, democratic style vote.

A prepared employer would demand a secret ballot vote. Secret ballot voting is a hallmark of democracy in that it removes fear and intimidation from the polling place. It allows people to vote with their conscience, without outside influence. It is a standard pursued by international elections monitoring groups, and indeed it is the only way to truly guarantee that the will of the people is correctly heard.

So why would the Democrats, backed heavily by the AFL-CIO, seek to eliminate this very democratic step in the unionization process?

What the proposed law change means in real terms, is that instead of requiring a democratic style vote to in selecting for or against union representation in the workplace, the simple submission of a majority of UACs would be enough, without a vote, to force workers to be represented by the petitioning union. Without a standard for card submission, or employee ownership of their signed cards, there are no guarantees that a majority of employees would actually be determining the direction for all employees. Without requiring a vote, this law sows the seed for fraud at the worst and malfeasance at the best.

Why would Democrats so precipitously sell out one of our basic democratic principles? Campaign contributions? And why would they be so eager to feed the agenda of one of the most corrupt unions of all times?

Election maneuvering has become a hallmark of the liberal game plan, but disenfranchising employees where they make their living is not liberal, it is criminal.

The union model has broken the US airline industry (sans Southwest), and the US automotive industry. A capricious approach to over-empowering the unions of this country should be carefully considered. Unions have mostly helped themselves over the past forty years, now it appears the Democrats are going to aid and abet in that process…walking on our basic democratic principles along the way.


Michael McBride

Michael E. McBride retired as a Major from the Marine Corps and blogs at http://www.mysandmen.blogspot.com.

Be the first to read Michael McBride's column. Sign up today and receive Townhall.com delivered each morning to your inbox.



TOWNHALL MEDIA GROUP