Why do unions lose so many certification elections after successful petition drives? Put yourself in the place of an employee of a targeted company. A union organizer or some fellow worker shoves a petition in your face and says something like: “You want to sign this petition, don’t you? You don’t want to stand in the way of your fellow workers forming a union to protect their rights in the workplace, do you?” If you decline to sign that petition at work, perhaps some of your pro-union colleagues will visit you at home to see if you’ve changed your mind! There’s a rather nifty little way for them to remind you that they know where you live; and where your car is parked at night; and where your wife and children are when you’re at work. So what do you do? Well, since you know that you’ll be able to vote against the union on a secret ballot, you sign the petition. You go along to get along. The election comes, unions lose, and union leaders grit their teeth and bemoan the loss of all those wonderful union dues. Unions know if they could just get rid of the secret ballot election and rely on their intimidation tactics to get a card signed by you -- with a check mark in the “Yes! Let’s unionize!” box -- they’re home free.
Well that’s pretty much the same scenario citizens of Wisconsin faced while the unions were running about with their recall petitions. That person shoving the recall petition in your face might have been a coworker. Perhaps it was a neighbor. Maybe it was your child’s teacher! The scenarios are almost endless, but whatever the scenario you did not want to create a conflict or controversy with that person by not signing their precious recall petition. You didn’t want a neighbor refusing to let his kid play with your kid because you’re “anti-union.” You didn’t want a teacher retaliating against your child in your local government school. You didn’t want your co-worker to be angry with you because you didn’t sign the petition her union husband sent to work with her. Maybe you’re a business owner in Madison. You know if you don’t sign the recall petition the union goons will brand you and your business as anti-union. For every single one of these scenarios, the solution was the same. Sign the petition, shut the goonion organizer up, and wait to have your true say when the recall election comes around.
The people of Wisconsin are seeing for themselves the improvements in their economic picture and the state budget now that the unions have been brought under some semblance of control. The voters signed the petitions, yes. But when the secret ballots are cast the people of Wisconsin will vote for fiscal sanity rather than union control of the state budget. Scott Walker certainly needs to get out there and fight – but victory is all but assured.