Category Archives: Card-check

Steelworkers’ Leo Gerard Posts a Funny…sort of

Sometimes union bosses are just plain ol’ gooberheads.

Take Leo Gerard, for example.  He’s the president of the United Steelworkers and he seems to like to making his points by conflating two different issues.

Earlier this week, the union-controlled National Mediation Board (the federal agency that governs labor relations in the airline and railroad industries) set more than 70 years of precedent on its head by changing how union votes are counted.

We noted how the voting change is nothing more than a payback for union bosses who can now concentrate their resources on unionizing an airline’s workers by concentrating only on hub cities and ignoring smaller outlying cities, even though workers in those smaller cities become unionized as well.

Nevertheless, in today’s true union fashion, Gerard posts an antagonistic op-ed in the Hill entitled: Hey, Union-Busters: We’ll Give You Supermajority. Aside from the provocative title [perhaps we should just start calling today’s unions ‘Company Killers’], Gerard’s post was more perplexing to the average reader than enlightening–even for those who don’t immediately see through his sad sophomoric sophistry .

Gerard makes the mistake of trying to tie NMB elections (which are entirely different than NLRB elections) into the uber-union desire for the job-destroying Employee Free Choice Act. His problem with doing that is that one has nothing to do with the other. 

The anti-worker-rights groups wanted the NMB to retain a different kind of election – one that requires the winner to receive votes from the majority of all of those qualified to participate — essentially, a supermajority.

This is an exciting new development. Up until now CEOs, union-busters, and particularly conservative Republicans, have actively opposed the Employee Free Choice Act, mainly because of a provision they call “card check.” But card check provides exactly what they now say that they want – a determination made by the majority of all of those qualified to participate. So, clearly, since they’re so upset by the end of supermajority rule for airline and railroad workers, they’d be happy if Congress intervened and instituted it for all workers by passing the Employee Free Choice Act.



Under the NMB’s new voting procedures (regardless of whether one agrees with it or not), the voter’s preferences (presumably) are kept secret.  Under the delusionally-dubbed Employee Free Choice Act’s ‘card-check’ provisions, worker preferences are not secret.

Under card-check, workers are left exposed to pressure, manipulation and deception. And, most importantly, under card-check there is NO ELECTION, period.

Gerard’s post would be funny, if it weren’t such a pathetically poor attempt at subterfuge.


Gooberhead.
__________________
 

“I bring reason to your ears, and, in language as plain as ABC, hold up truth to your eyes.” Thomas Paine, December 23, 1776


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Filed under Card-check, Employee Free Choice Act, Leo Gerard, United Steelworkers

Shock! Not all unions like card-check…

It’s been a fight that has been raging for five years or more: Should workers have the right to decide whether or not to become unionized through a secret-ballot vote, or through signing a union card in front of their peers in a process known as card-check?

Unions have spend an estimated $1.4 billion on getting politicians elected in 2006 and 2008 who have pledged to pass a job-destroying and misleadingly named law called the Employee Free Choice Act (or EFCA).  One of the central provisions of EFCA is the process of card-check.
Card-check simply means that, if a majority of employees (50% +1) sign union authorization cards, the employees are automatically unionized without a secret-ballot election.
President Obama has said that, if passed through Congress, he would sign EFCA into law.
Now comes word that not all unions are in favor of card-check legislation…at least when it comes to their own employees:
An election for union representation has been ordered by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) for the United Steelworkers (USW) to represent 66 professional staff of the New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA). The definition of this bargaining union was stipulated through the NLRB on Apr. 9. The employees work in the association’s union program representing registered nurses and other health care professionals in New York and New Jersey.

On Mar. 19, the USW requested voluntary recognition by NYSNA as the collective bargaining representative of its professional employees. The USW also offered to submit to a ‘card check’ by a neutral third party, to demonstrate the interest of the NYSNA staff in being represented by the USW. Both of these acts are strongly supported by AFL-CIO and other labor organizations and are key components of the proposed Employee Free Choice Act awaiting passage before the U.S. Congress. On Mar. 22, NYSNA refused to voluntarily recognize USW and refused to submit to a card check by a neutral third party.

As a result of NYSNA’s unwillingness to recognize the USW as the collective bargaining representative of its professional employees, the USW filed a petition with the NLRB on Mar. 23. Within the following day, NYSNA proceeded to make unilateral changes to the conditions of employment for the professional staff involved. The USW is now contemplating an unfair labor practice charge.

[Emphasis added.]

So, according to NYSNA’s standards, card-check’s okay for thee, but not me?

Yet another fine example of the hypocrisy of today’s union leaders.

__________________

“I bring reason to your ears, and, in language as plain as ABC, hold up truth to your eyes.” Thomas Paine, December 23, 1776

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Filed under Card-check, EFCA, Employee Free Choice Act, NYSNA, United Steelworkers

Union Hypocrisy 101: Do as AFSCME Bosses Say, Not as They Do…

First some background:

  • Union bosses have spent HUNDREDS of MILLIONS (dare we say over a billion?) of dollars over these past few years trying to get the hallucinogencially-named Employee Free Choice Act enacted.
  • One of the hallmark provisions of EFCA is what is known as “card-check.” Card-check means that if 50%+1 of a given unit of employees sign union authorization cards, the union wins without a secret-ballot election. 
  • Union bosses have misled, they have rallied, they have retaliated against those who do not agree, and they have threatened to “unelect” politicians who do not fall lock step with their agenda.
  • Again, the Employee Free FORCED Choice Act has been union bosses’ number one legislative goal for several years…their TOP legislative goal…
Given the above, one would think that a union boss would be happy thrilled to hear that his own union’s  workers signed union authorization cards and want to unionize…right?  Further, one would think that said union boss would readily recognize his workers’ union using the card check method…right? After all, the ends do justify the means and with all the money that has been spent, the politicians that have been bought, the lies that have been told, card-check is good…right?

Well, check out this little story of union hypocrisy, courtesy of Philadelphia AFSCME boss Henry Nicholas:

In about a month, 20 secretaries, clerks, and administrators – all employees of one of the city’s most storied unions – will participate in a National Labor Relations Board election to decide whether they want to be represented by a union themselves.

Ironically, their employer, longtime labor leader Henry Nicholas, declined to recognize the bargaining unit when he was presented with signed petition cards from a majority of the workers.

Nicholas is a staunch supporter of a proposed federal law known as “card check,” which would allow unions to organize workplaces without a separate election if a majority of workers sign cards requesting representation.

The Labor Relations Board has scheduled an April 2 election for the employees of District 1199C of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME).

Organizer John Hundzynski said “all the employees” in the office signed cards, declining to comment further. Hundzynski is a union organizer for District 1199C, usually trying to sign up nurses and other health-care workers. The Philadelphia union has 11,000 members, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

Before Hundzynski asked Nicholas to recognize the union based on the signed cards, Hundzynski “had already asked for an election,” said Nicholas, who heads District 1199C.

“I’m not going to campaign against him. I’m not going to give out handbills. I’m not going to hold meetings,” Nicholas said. “If he wins, I’m ready to bargain expeditiously.”

Nicholas said the two disagreed Friday over whether the union’s bookkeeper should be included in the proposed bargaining unit.

When Hundzynski lost that battle, Nicholas said, he countered by proposing the card-check provision and threatened to go public if Nicholas did not agree. [Emphasis added.]

Read the rest here

Well, Henry, now it’s public and now we know, you’re just another union hypocrite.
Card-check for thee, but not me…Right, Henry?

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“I bring reason to your ears, and, in language as plain as ABC, hold up truth to your eyes.” Thomas Paine, December 23, 1776


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Filed under AFSCME, Card-check, EFCA, Employee Free Choice Act, union hyposcrisy

Is Obama as Bad as Bush for Union Bosses?

By reading some of the comments made by union bosses in BusinessWeek, one might wonder if the labor leaders wasted a whole bunch of their members’ money back in 2008 or whether they set their expectations far too high.
“We’re demoralized,” said Robert Haynes, president of the Massachusetts AFL-CIO. “We’re not happy about anything.”

“The labor movement is at a crossroads, and it has to rethink its political strategy,” said Amy Dean, a former labor official who is co-author of “A New New Deal,” a book about reshaping the labor movement. “The conversations that we are having at our kitchen tables and our living rooms that express our disappointment with this administration are very similar to the conversations that we had under the Bush administration.”
Ouch!
On labor issues, to compare President Obama to President Bush, is stunning!

Read the rest here.

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“I bring reason to your ears, and, in language as plain as ABC, hold up truth to your eyes.”
 Thomas Paine, December 23, 1776

Follow LaborUnionReport on Twitter.

For more news and views on today’s unions, go to LaborUnionReport.com.

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Filed under AFL-CIO, Card-check, Employee Free Choice Act, President Obama

Newsbusters Exposes Media Bias on Employee Free Choice Act AP Report

It should come as no surpise when the media misreports issues around “card-check” legislation, otherwise known as the dubiously-dubbed Employee Free Choice Act. Well, Newsbusters.com has a good piece about on AP’s report on last week’s card-check trial balloon:

No one can finish Saturday’s report by Sam Hananel of the Associated Press without knowing the side of the political aisle on which he resides (surprise — not — it’s decidedly on the left), and that he is more sympathetic to the interests of organized labor than he is to those of management at non-union firms.

To read the entire article go here.

For more on the hallucinogencially-named Employee Free Choice Act, go to LaborUnionReport.com’s EFCA Page, or 1-888-NO-UNION.COM

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Filed under 1-888-NO-UNION.COM, Card-check, EFCA, Employee Free Choice Act, LaborUnionReport.com

EFCA UPDATE: Compromise on Employee Free Choice Act is still Poison to Small Business

“There are two sides to every issue: one side is right and the other is wrong, but the middle is always evil….In any compromise between food and poison, it is only death that can win. In any compromise between good and evil, it is only evil that can profit.”–Ayn Rand.

Following the New York Times announcement yesterday that Democrats are ready to drop the contentious card-check provision from the controversial and misleadingly-named Employee Free Choice Act, the Times is doing a follow-up piece today: ‘Card Check’ Concession Doesn’t Mollify Small Business.

In addition, according to CBS News, the story that ran in the Times may have been just floating a trial balloon.

But representatives on both sides of the issue signaled in interviews with Hotsheet Friday that they are skeptical of the Times report. Josh Goldstein of American Rights at Work said in an interview that it is “premature to make any assumptions about what’s going on in negotiations when the people who are in those negotiations are clearly stating that there is no deal.”

“As far as I know, majority sign up is still on the table,” he said. “And we’re still fighting for it.”

And Mark McKinnon of the Workforce Fairness Institute, a business group, told Hotsheet, “I don’t think it’s so much a compromise as it is a trial balloon.”

Whether or not card-check (aka “No-Vote Unionization”) makes it into a final bill is still uncertain. However, the internet rumor mill has it that a compromise (if there is any) may include:

  • 5-10 day elections following a union’s petition (as opposed to the current 42 days)
  • Banning employer-conducted so-called “captive audience meetings” or, absent that…
  • Requiring unions be given equal time in a company for persuading employees

According to the Times follow-up piece this morning:

“A quickie election in 5 to 10 days puts our guys at a huge disadvantage,” says Brad Close, National Federation of Independent Business’ (N.F.I.B) vice president for public policy. “They will be running around, trying to find a labor counsel to make sure that they run elections the correct way; they’ll have no time to talk to their employees. You’ve got to understand: the union organizers will have been talking to employees on their own, for months, probably, leading up to when this election gets called.” (Unions, of course, insist that the playing field is irredeemably tilted toward management, who can begin anti-union politicking the day an employee is hired.)

Molly Brogan, spokeswoman for the National Small Business Association (N.S.B.A.), adds that potential provisions that would grant unions access to company property for the campaign or limit a firm’s ability to discuss “the realities of unionization” are “nonstarters for the small-business community.”

In all cases, the one thing that has stayed consistent is union bosses’ insistence on including the job-destroying binding arbitration in any final bill.

“Our members hate the idea of losing a secret ballot election, but if you want to see their blood really boil, then explain to them the arbitration part of the bill,” Mr. Close says. “To them, it’s like turning the keys of their business over.”

Stay tuned to LaborUnionReport.com, as this fight is far from over.

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Filed under binding arbitration, Card-check, EFCA, Employee Free Choice Act, National Federation of Independent Business, National Small Business Association, New York Times

DEMS DEAL BLOW TO UNION BOSSES, DROP CARD-CHECK

Democrats, according to the New York Times, have dropped the card-check provision from the job-destroying Employee Free Choice Act. The Times reports:

“A half-dozen senators friendly to labor have decided to drop a central provision of a bill that would have made it easier to organize workers.”

The Huffington Post (which has its contacts with union bosses) is stating:

“Moderate Democrats have forced a key compromise to the Employee Free Choice Act, which removes one of the labor community’s most cherished provisions from the bill.”

The compromise legislation, as described to the Huffington Post, will contain several major labor priorities including requiring shorter time periods for a union election and containing some form of binding arbitration to prevent employers from dragging out a contract negotiation process. The measures, according to AFL-CIO spokesman Eddie Vale, will let workers choose to join a union without intimidation, ensure that those who join a union get a first contract, and institute meaningful penalties for violations of labor law.

“No matter what, this is still HUGE labor law reform,” emailed one union official.

“There is no official or final deal, negotiations are still ongoing,” said another union hand. “We’re going to pass a bill that is the biggest reform of labor law since the Wagner Act.”

Still, the removal of the card-check provision is a shot in the gut to a labor community that saw in the Democratic Congress and the Obama White House, the conduits they needed to pass their legislative priorities. While Sen. Al Franken’s seating in Minnesota provided the party with a 60th caucusing member to beat back a GOP filibuster attempt, moderates like Sens. Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.), Diane Feinstein (D-Calif.), Arlen Specter (D-Penn.) and others had expressed skepticism, if not downright opposition, to EFCA’s original incarnation.

In conversations with reporters, union officials are insisting that this is the natural process by which a bill becomes law. They also aren’t officially dropping the conversation on a majority sign up.

What this means, dear readers, is that union bosses are still pushing binding arbitration which, as we’ve written, puts workers on the path to serfdom:

Under the oxymoronically-named Employee Free Choice Act, once binding Arbitration kicks in, if employees had been tricked into unionization (under EFCA’s no-vote unionization provision) and the government imposes its contract on the employer and employees, employees..:

1) CANNOT vote to ratify or reject the government contract
2) CANNOT modify the government contract
3) CANNOT kick the union out (for two years)
4) and, perhaps most importantly, CANNOT strike in protest.

Note: A strike is the collective withholding of labor and, if workers cannot withhold their labor, then they effectively become economic serfs.

Employees will be voiceless, powerless and left with two options: Either keep their mouths shut and accept it, or quit as individuals.

Under this Hobson’s Choice, many companies will likely lose their best and brightest employees, as individual workers realize the loss of their personal freedoms. That is, until the government outlaws the practice of resigning employment too.

According to the Times’ report:

“This bill will bring about dramatic changes, even if card check has fallen away,” said an A.F.L.-C.I.O. official who insisted on anonymity.

The official said the revised bill achieves the three things organized labor has been seeking.

“Our goals,” the official said, “have always been letting employees have a real choice, having real penalties against employers who break the law in fighting unions, and having some form of binding arbitration to prevent employers from dragging their feet forever to prevent reaching a contract.”

Despite this huge development, the fight against this job-destroying legislation is not over, as “labor leaders acknowledged an additional hurdle: two powerful Democrats, Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts and Robert C. Byrd of West Virginia, are seriously ill.”

Be sure to stay tuned to LaborUnionReport.com through the weekend, as we will be posting articles as they come in. In addition, be sure to check the site for additional articles on the government’s efforts to nationalize our health care system.

With Best Wishes for a Great Weekend!

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Filed under binding arbitration, Card-check, EFCA, Employee Free Choice Act