The Two Faces of Big Labor
D.C., March 24, 2009—A new study
by the Competitive Enterprise Institute reveals the enthusiasm with which labor
unions have supported secret ballot elections in the past, while campaigning to
do away with them in union organizing today.
Check Double Standard: Unions’ Hypocrisy on the Secret Ballot,” by F. Vincent Vernuccio, evaluates the
provisions of the misnamed Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA), particularly the proposal
to do away with secret ballots when it comes to organizing at a non-union
workplace. As past complaints have demonstrated, depriving employees of the
right to vote in private during a union organizing drive leaves them open to
intimidation and harassment by union officials.
Ironically, however, many of the nation’s top unions have
secret ballot provisions in their constitutions and bylaws governing internal
elections, and have insisted on secret ballot elections when their own employees
have tried to organize.
“EFCA sponsor Rep. George Miller (D-CA) and other supporters
of the bill in Congress have even urged foreign government officials to use the
secret ballot in union certification elections,” writes Vernuccio. “Secretary
of Labor Hilda Solis fought for the use of the secret ballot in the
Congressional Hispanic Caucus, as well as sponsoring legislation in California protecting
the secret ballot for workers voting on their employers’ overtime policies.”
For a comprehensive overview of
the Employee Free Choice Act and its potential impact on American workers, see
the new study by Russ
Brown of the Labor Relations Institute and Competitive Enterprise Institute
Editorial Director Ivan Osorio,
Employee Free Choice Act Is Anything But: A Comparison of Labor Organizing
Today vs. under EFCA.”
CEI is a non-profit, non-partisan
public policy group dedicated to the principles of free enterprise and limited
government. For more information about
CEI, please visit our website at www.cei.org.