Friday, March 02, 2007

What A Difference a Speaker Makes

If ever there were a poignant example of how the control of Congress matters, the House's March 1st passage of the euphemistically-titled "Employee Free Choice Act" is it.

Ignored by every MSM news outlet in the country, the passage of this bill (inexplicably sponsored by 215 representatives) offers an employee anything but "free choice."

The bill radically amends the National Labor Relations Act to dispense with the requirement of a secret ballot employee election before a union is certified by the NLRB. Instead, a union organizer is free to approach every worker face-to-face, put a petition in front of him, and ask for his signature. Does this suggest a "free choice" to you? What do you imagine happens when the worker says to the union organizer, "I'm sorry sir, but I am not comfortable making this decision in front of you. I would prefer to make my choice in the privacy of the ballot box."

This law would be great for the tire business.

Instad of the secret ballot election, "If the Board finds that a majority of the employees in a unit appropriate for bargaining has signed authorizations designating the individual or labor organization specified in the petition as their bargaining representative and that no other individual or labor organization is currently certified or recognized as the exclusive representative of any of the employees in the unit, the Board shall not direct an election but shall certify the individual or labor organization as the representative...

There is no oversight of how those "authorizations" are requested or obtained.

Lest there is any confusion over who is pushing this gem of labor policy, my Google shows me who's paying attention:

AFL-CIO, who trumpets the "bipartisan coalition" of legislators sponsoring the bill -- 215 house members, seven of which are Republicans: two from the boroughs of New York City (Vito Fosella, Peter King) (no mystery there), one from upstate NY (John McHugh), one from the Cleveland-Akron OH district (Steve LaTourette), Chris Smith and Frank Lobiondo from New Jersey and the inestimable Chris Shays from Connecticut. Thanks, fellas.

"American Rights at Work", whose chairman is David Bonior, the former bomb-throwing radical from Michigan who left Congress in 2002 to run for Governor and was trounced in the Democratic primary, now the Chairman of John Edwards' presidential campaign.

While the news of this "workers progress" seems to have evaded MSM, it was quick to be picked up at those bastions of centrism, Democratic Underground, which called it "passed the most important labor law reform legislation in 70 years," (they could be right) and Daily Kos", whose poster avers that Republican efforts to kill this bill will go against "millions of non-union workers in this country who want to join unions."

No explanation of how the secret ballot provisions of the NLRA go against anyone, union or non-union.

What a horrible piece of legislation.

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