Union Free America


Legislative Alert:

Bill Denies Workers Secret Ballot Vote

Legislation, S. 560 and H.R. 1409, has been introduced in Congress that would take away the right of working Americans to a secret ballot vote on union representation and substitute a so-called "card check" election.

In a "card check" a union is given monopoly bargaining over all the employees in a unit on the basis of cards signed by a bare majority.

There is plenty of evidence to show that a bare majority of signed cards isn't a good indication of employee choice on union representation. The AFL-CIO's own research finds that "when 60-75 percent of the unit signs cards there is a victory rate [in secret ballot elections] of 49 percent." Several professors have studied this question. One found that a union had to have cards signed by 70 percent of the unit to have a fifty-fifty chance to win a secret ballot vote. Another found that 28 percent of the employees who signed cards didn't vote for a union.

That's because union organizers use deception, fraud, harassment and intimidation to get employees to sign cards.

This bill is hypocritically named the "Employee Free Choice Act."  It is exactly the opposite.  It denies employees free choice.

This anti-democracy bill is a perfect example of how desperate union officials are to try to revive their failing organizations.  There was a time when unions fought for the right to a secret ballot election on union representation.  Now that they are losing so many elections because working Americans have rejected unionism, they want to change the rules of the game.

You can tell that the unions don't really want "free choice" because the bill only allows card checks for union recognition, not decertification.

The problems of the perversely named "Employee Free Choice Act" don't end with just taking away the right to a secret ballot vote. It also contains a provision for compulsory binding arbitration of first contracts. The way that works all a union that is more interested in collecting dues dollars than it is in representing workers has to do is fool around for 120 days and then a supposedly neutral third party will step in and decide what the contract will say.

It won't matter whether employees who have had the union forced on them by a phony card check scheme like the contract. They won't even have the right to vote on contract ratification. The arbitrator's contract will have a two year term so it won't even be possible for the workers to decertify the union for two years. And, the unions call that "free choice"?

S. 560 was introduced by Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA) with 39 cosponsors. H.R. 1409 Congressman George Miller (D-CA) introduced H.R. 1409 with 222 cosponsors, including every Democratic Party member of the House Education and Labor Committee, to which it was referred. If you want to take a look at it and check its status, you can click here to find S. 560 and here for H.R. 1409.  Check out the cosponsors to see if your representative is on the list.

Let your U.S. Senators and Representative in Congress know what you think of this legislation. You can find their e-mail address by clicking here for here for the your U.S. Senators and here for the House of Representatives.

Since H.R. 1409 bill is cosponsored by more than a majority of the House of Representatives, it could be approved by the House any time the leadership decides to bring it up. Don't let the fact that less than a majority of the Senate are cosponsors fool you. The Union Bosses have the votes they need to get the bill approved in the Senate, if it reaches the Senate floor. The only chance to stop this dangerous, anti democratic legislation is a filibuster in the U.S. Senate. That makes contacts with your Senators a high priority now.

A group called the Coalition for a Democratic Workplace has launched a web page dedicated to this issue where you can get additional information.

Please help us spread the word about this dangerous legislation by sending a link to this Legislative Alert to as many people as possible. Also, please send a contribution to Union Free America to help us spread the word about this dangerous legislation. You can get more information about contributing by clicking the "Donate" button at the bottom of this page.

Updated April 6, 2009

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