I’ve written several times about the “Employee Free Choice Act.” Far from promoting employee free choice, this legislation would enable a union to be certified as the bargaining representative of employees merely by presenting to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) cards executed by a majority of employees in the bargaining unit. The presentation of cards would mean no election. Thus, instead of making the decision about whether to be represented by a union in private and in secret, employees could be subjected to all manner of coercion to sign a card.
Barack Obama supports this legislation. As ever, though, he and his campaign are dishonest about what his position entails. As I noted here, the campaign claims that if workers “wish to vote by secret ballot instead of a card-check process, they can; the law does not strip them of that right.” In truth, however, if the union, under unsupervised conditions, can browbeat more than half of the employees into signing cards, there is no election. Employees, in other words, are stripped of the right to vote.
This reality is sufficiently obvious that CNN’s “fact-checkers” have affirmed it. CNN examined a statement by John McCain that “Senator Obama is. . .planning with Speaker Pelosi and Senator Reid to â€¦ take away your right to vote by secret ballot in labor elections.” In one of the no-brainers of this election, CNN concluded that McCain’s claim is “true.”
Obama’s low regard for free elections can be attributed, in this context, to his desire to placate organized labor. Increasingly, though, there is reason to wonder whether it is also connected to a more general disregard for democratic freedoms and a willingness to rely on (or at least tolerate) organized thuggery to promote his purposes.