Remember card check? That provision in the Employee Free Choice Act that takes away free choice for workers by eliminating the secret ballot? While Card check has been around for decades, the proposal was for the “card check” to supersede the secret ballot for union votes. Many people think that the Employee Free Choice act is dead, but as long as there is Progressive Democrat in the White House who gets to stack the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) the goal of this act, to take away free choice from workers and intimidate them into joining Unions, is still alive.
Reports are that the NLRB will follow in the footsteps of the EPA and the FCC by making rules which essentially negate Congressional actions. The EPA is doing it with its new rules which began when it declared they will regulate carbon, the FCC did it with the “net neutrality” rules and now the NLRB will try to negate Congressional rejection of Card Check.
The latest indication that the NLRB is preparing to strike occurred a two weeks ago:
The National Labor Relations Board on Friday threatened to sue Arizona, South Carolina, South Dakota and Utah over constitutional amendments guaranteeing workers the right to a secret ballot in union elections.
The agency’s acting general counsel, Lafe Solomon, said the amendments conflict with federal law, which gives employers the option of recognizing a union if a majority of workers sign cards that support unionizing.
The amendments, approved Nov. 2, have taken effect in South Dakota and Utah, and will do so soon in Arizona and South Carolina.
The language in each state measure differs, but each guarantees workers the right to a secret ballot in employee representation elections. But the NLRB Lawyer says the states have a choice of declaring the law unconstitutional of face a federal lawsuit:
Solomon is asking the attorneys general in South Dakota and Utah for official statements agreeing that their amendments are unconstitutional “to conserve state and federal resources.”
In his letter to South Carolina’s attorney general, Solomon asks the state to take measures that would prevent the Legislature from ratifying the amendment. Solomon requested that Arizona’s governor decline to make the amendment official.
Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff said he believes the state is on solid ground. He plans to coordinate a response with the other three states.
“If they want to bring a lawsuit, then bring it,” Shurtleff said. “We believe that a secret ballot is as fundamental a right as any American has had since the beginning of this country. We want to protect the constitutional rights of our citizens.”
South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley also promised to “vigorously defend our South Dakota Constitution” against any federal lawsuit.
It’s incredible to think that any State Government would face a lawsuit by the federal government for guaranteeing a fair, unbiased secret ballot. Its as if everything has been reversed.
A spokesman for South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson said, “South Carolina voters spoke overwhelmingly to ensure that their ballot votes are kept between them and their Maker — not to be influenced by union bosses.”
Last June, the NLRB asked vendors to submit proposals on how they would conduct electronic remote voting (E-voting.) The NLRB’s request highlighted the need for a “proven solution that supports mail, telephone, web-based and/or on-site electronic voting; that includes the necessary safeguards to ensure the accuracy, secrecy, observability, transparency, integrity, accountability, and auditability of Agency-conducted elections.”
Opponents denounced the idea as card check by other means. National Right to Work Foundation President Mark Mix warned, “[M]uch like card check organizing, electronic voting leaves the door open to coercion and identity theft, and will be used by aggressive union organizers to impose forced unionism on more workers.”
The American Hospital Association wrote a letter to the NLRB cautioning,“expanding the use of off-site elections – which could be conducted in employees’ homes or in union halls – dramatically increases the risk of union coercion of employees.” Some argue it would be relatively easy for a union organizer with a laptop or some other mobile electronic device to look over an individual’s shoulder to pressure him to vote for union representation.
The NLRB is also considering expedited elections. Obama NLRB appointee Mark Pearce told students at the Suffolk University Law School that the board should make the time getting to an election “as brief as possible.” Specifically, Pearce cited the system used in Canada where employees could vote in only five to ten days.
Critics call the shortened period ambush elections, since the majority of the time union organizers have months to convince workers to vote their way while employers are only told of the election when the union files the request for it with the NLRB.
All this his happening against the background of new data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics showing that the number of union members in the US dropped by 12.3% last year. Union members are now only 11.9% of the working population.“The number of wage and salary workers belonging to unions declined by 612,000 to 14.7 million. In 1983, the first year for which comparable union data are available, the union membership rate was 20.1 percent, and there were 17.7 million union workers.”
Unions leadership as (opposed to the rank and file), are amongst the biggest supporters of the Democratic candidates and the progressive agenda. Therefore the president will do anything possible to inflate their ranks/membership dues, even if it means eliminating a basic right, such as an unfettered secret vote.