Card check: labor’s power grab

The gains achieved by organized labor have become embedded not only in our factories and offices, but in the tradition and fabric of our country. So it seems inconsistent at best, hypocritical at worst, that the number one goal of organized labor today is to overturn another proud and important tradition in this country — the right to cast a confidential, private ballot.

Since the advent of federal supervision over whether or not to form a union in the workplace, union certification votes are commonly done via a confidential, private ballot cast by each employee. This process is overseen by the federal government’s National Labor Relations Board to ensure a free and fair election.

However, through legislation now under consideration in Congress, labor unions would have the NLRB do away with private ballots in favor of a card check process.

In this system, an employee’s vote on whether or not to form a union in the workplace would be known to all—fellow employees, union representatives and others. It’s easy to see how this system would invite corruption. Many employees would find themselves under intense pressure and probable intimidation to vote for union representation.

Casting union certification ballots in public is, quite simply, a perversion of democracy.

Unfortunately, card check legislation breezed through the U.S. House of Representatives last year. It would have passed the Senate too, but was blocked by a filibuster. The Business and Industry Association of New Hampshire hopes our elected representatives in Washington, and those gearing up to challenge them, see this legislation for what it is — a last-gasp effort by organized labor to stabilize and reverse its declining ranks.

Congress should not allow this pending injustice to prevail.

Jim Roche is president and CEO of the Business and Industry Association of New Hampshire.

Categories: Opinion