Union Newspeak

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Organized labor is pulling out all stops to win back Congress for the Democrats. And it has a nasty little surprise for us if its preferred party wins: a piece of legislation with the Orwellian name of the “Employee Free Choice Act.”

Under the Wagner Act of 1935, there are a number of steps a union must take to organize a company. It must first get 30% of the employees to petition to organize, and hold open debate on the issue. Then the workers must decide by secret ballot, administered by the NLRB. Union organizers are not winning many of these battles – I suspect because most workers view unions as anachronistic, corrupt, job-killing machines – and private-sector union membership is now less than 8%.

Faced with the fact that it is losing the battle for the hearts and minds of workers, organized labor could ask itself why it is so unappealing, and maybe correct its deficiencies. But no, it is so much easier to resort to state coercion. Enter the rabidly pro-union Democrats Sen. Ted Kennedy and Rep. George Miller to put forward the insidious “Free Choice Act,” which would completely eliminate secret ballots. Union organizers would only need to convince workers to sign cards saying that they wanted a union, and if more than half signed, the company would be unionized.

Of course, the unions’ goal is to enable organizers to use strongarm tactics to get their way. “Yeah, buddy, you’re free not to sign this card, and our boys are free to do to your family what they did to Hoffa!”

Let’s hope they don’t get their way.

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