Subverting Democracy with Union Rules
Contact: Richard Morrison, 202.331.2273
Washington, D.C., February 7, 2007—Congress will consider dramatic changes to union organizing rules this week, when Rep. George Miller (D-CA) holds a hearing on his proposal to re-write the rules under which new unions are recognized.
Miller, the chairman of the House Committee on Education and Labor, has introduced a bill, the inaptly named "Employee Free Choice Act," which would allow unions to circumvent secret ballot voting by employees on whether they want to unionize. Employees instead would be expected to sign (or refuse to sign) union cards in public. This "card check" procedure leaves workers open to well-documented high-pressure tactics and intimidation by union organizers.
"Forced to confront a collapse of union membership in the private sector, organized labor, rather than adapt to the changing economy, is turning to government for help," said Ivan Osorio, a labor policy analyst at the Competitive Enterprise Institute. "In order to gain a greater recruiting advantage, unions have increasingly relied on employer-sanctioned ‘card check’ organizing campaigns, which circumvent secret-ballot elections. Rep. Miller’s new legislation would tip the scale further toward union influence by cutting employers out of the process."