From the 31 July 2008 Washington Times:
Legislation that would make it more difficult for workers to hold a private ballot vote in unionization drives, which critics say would lead to harassment and intimidation, has spurred a pitched battle between powerful labor unions supportive of Sen. Barack Obama and big business in the presidential campaign.
Seen by the AFL-CIO as a way to boost union rolls by hundreds of thousands of new members, the hotly-contested bill has become this year’s No. 1 election issue for organized labor. Mr. Obama, the presumptive Democratic nominee, has promised union bosses that the Employee Free Choice Act will become law in 2009 if he wins the presidency in November. [My emphasis, of Orwellian double-speak at its finest. – NPO]
“We’re ready to play offense for organized labor. It’s time we had a president who didn’t choke saying the word ‘union.’ A president who strengthens our unions by letting them do what they do best: organize our workers,” Mr. Obama told the AFL-CIO in Philadelphia on April 2.
“I will make it the law of the land when I’m president of the United States,” Mr. Obama told the labor federation.
Is it any wonder that the attractiveness of organized labor has declined as precipitously as it has when its leaders seek to deny could-be union members the right to vote to organize, or not to, in secret?* Really, only Obama’s support of this draconian policy boggles my mind more than the proposal’s very existence. Notice that Obama makes no claim, as quoted supra, of supporting the working man; rather, he saves his heroism for the unions. He wants “to play offense for organized labor“, rather than for organized laborers**. Accuse me of parsing to the most painfully minute degree; I stand by the importance of the difference here. Barack Obama has more interest, it would seem, in maintaining the financial support of the unions than in protecting the rights of the American working class. Change, indeed.
It is, perhaps, worthy of note that Obama has promised to enact the Freedom of Choice Act, guaranteeing further the “right” to “choose” to abort an unborn child and to enact the Employee Free Choice Act, which, in fact, severely limits the choice the American worker has. Baffling. Even George McGovern, stalwart union supporter, writing in the Wall Street Journal, says no to this egregious legislation, as Paul M. Weyrich notes
From McGovern’s opinion piece:
I worry that there has been too little discussion about EFCA’s true ramifications, and I think much of the congressional support is based on a desire to give our friends among union leaders what they want. But part of being a good steward of democracy means telling our friends “no” when they press for a course that in the long run may weaken labor and disrupt a tried and trusted method for conducting honest elections. [My emphasis, for awesome truth-telling. – NPO]
Reasonable Republican words on the Act, from Congressman John Kline, MN:
It is beyond me how one can possibly claim that a system whereby everyone — your employer, your union organizer, and your co-workers — knows exactly how you vote on the issue of unionization gives an employee free choice. . . . It seems pretty clear to me that the only way to ensure that a worker is free to choose is to ensure that there’s a private ballot, so that no one knows how you voted. I cannot fathom how we were about to sit there today and debate a proposal to take away a worker’s democratic right to vote in a secret-ballot election and call it “Employee Free Choice”.
For what it’s worth, as the article in the Times notes, McCain opposes this act.***
Update: Clive Crook has a good piece on EFCA, unions, and the Democrats. The comment box conversation is worth your time, too.
*For the love of God, I realize that this has come up long after the unions began to lose their luster, so, please, avoid trying to disprove my argument on such grounds. This policy, rather, I believe, is just the newest manifestation of the corruption that plagues organized labor, which perpetuates itself by positing continuously the chimera of a level of economic security that the working man can achieve onlythrough union membership.
**The reader ought not to construe this piece as indicative, at all, of my opinions on voluntary organization.
***The reader ought, of course, not to construe this piece as indicative of my support for or endorsement of Senator McCain.
****I should also note — insist, vehemently, even — that the fact that Wal-Mart and I fall on the same side of this in no way should be construed as being indicative of my support of, approval for, or interest in siding with this most evil bastard mutation of “free-market economics”.
Filed under: Abortion, American hypocrisy, American Politics, Get Real, Human Rights, Liberty and Security, Obama, Political corruption and scandal | Tagged: AFL-CIO, American working man, Card-check, draconian, Employee Free Choice Act, FOCA, Free Congress Foundation, Paul Weyrich, secret vote, Union bullying, union organization | 2 Comments »