Obama tells unions that Card Check will pass this year

posted at 9:37 am on March 4, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

After telling Planned Parenthood that the Freedom of Choice Act was his first priority and the unions that the EFCA was his top issue, it seems as though Barack Obama has managed to avoid both in his first few weeks in office.  Yesterday, though, the new president sent a video message to an AFL-CIO leadership meeting insisting that he had not forgotten about his union pals.  Obama pledged to get Card Check passed this year:

“We will pass the Employee Free Choice Act,” President Obama told more than 100 top labor officials in a closed-door meeting at the labor federation’s winter gathering in Miami, according to people at the meeting.

The bill would make it easier for unions to recruit workers because it would let them join unions simply by signing cards rather than through secret-ballot elections in which companies can campaign against the union. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other business organizations have been campaigning against the legislation.

The president’s remarks were taped on Feb. 20, according to a White House spokesman. Following his remarks, AFL-CIO officials held a meeting with Labor Secretary Hilda Solis.

Separately, on Wednesday, the AFL-CIO is expected to ask the administration to take a controlling stake in banks that receive government funding and a more active role in restructuring their balance sheets. “We believe the debate over nationalization is delaying the inevitable bank restructuring, which is something our economy cannot afford,” reads a draft of an AFL-CIO statement. Richard Trumka, secretary-treasurer of the AFL-CIO, is a member of the White House Economic Recovery Advisory Board.

After six weeks of market crashes, it’s hard to see how Obama could foul things up any further — but this would do it.  Passing Card Check at this time, with its bypass of the secret ballot and the force of government arbitration behind labor disputes, would send the few capital venture groups screaming out of the marketplace.  With assets losing value by the minute and consumer spending at a standstill, the last thing the private sector needs is a hike in labor costs, which is exactly what the EFCA would provide, even disregarding its abuse of American workers.

It’s interesting that Obama isn’t talking about this in public.  In the context of today’s market turmoil, it’s understandable, but what does it mean?  Does Obama intend on pushing Card Check and stripping American workers of the protection of the secret ballot?  Or is Obama pandering to union leaders while keeping his powder dry on labor?

I’d bet that Obama isn’t quite foolish enough to push yet another market-killing bill, but then again, I had also thought that the principle of not raising taxes in a recession was pretty well established by now.

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Promising or pandering?

Are you on crack?

oldleprechaun on March 4, 2009 at 11:12 AM

I’d bet that Obama isn’t quite foolish enough to push yet another market-killing bill,

Ed

I have some ocean-front land in Kansas I want to talk to you about…..

drjohn on March 4, 2009 at 11:16 AM

This will have many unforseen and unintended consequences. You cripple markets when you constrain free and voluntary associations and use govt coercion to compel outcomes. This is basic freedom and liberty issues, not simply within the more narrow confines of business.

moxie_neanderthal on March 4, 2009 at 11:19 AM

It’d be nice if Republicans could initiate a law that allows me to own a bazooka and call it “The strict gun control law.”

Democrats are so stupid they’d believe it face value.

drjohn on March 4, 2009 at 11:20 AM

You cripple markets when you constrain free and voluntary associations and use govt coercion to compel outcomes.

Indeed. Yet the destruction of capitalism is the goal. The basic foundation of the country is being changed from equal opportunity to equal outcome.

That noise you hear is Karl Marx smirking.

drjohn on March 4, 2009 at 11:22 AM

It’s incredibly easy and non-coercive.

DeathToMediaHacks on March 4, 2009 at 10:06 AM

When Guido tells you to sign the card, or something bad will happen to your house, it’s non-coercive.

There’s a reason why unions typically lose the secret ballots. It’s because most of the guys who signed the cards felt they had to, or else.

MarkTheGreat on March 4, 2009 at 11:22 AM

You can’t make people join a union in ANY state.
DeathToMediaHacks on March 4, 2009 at 10:06 AM

Were you born this stupid, or did you get help.

In a state without right to work laws, if you want to be employed, you have to join the union.

MarkTheGreat on March 4, 2009 at 11:23 AM

If his lips are flapping and his big ears are flapping….he’s lying………..

Cinday Blackburn on March 4, 2009 at 11:25 AM

In a state without right to work laws, if you want to be employed keep your knee caps, you have to join the union.

MarkTheGreat on March 4, 2009 at 11:23 AM

FIFY

Laura in Maryland on March 4, 2009 at 11:29 AM

What every obama union lackie should be wearing.
http://www.shopadidas.com/product/index.jsp?productId=3412877

ouldbollix on March 4, 2009 at 11:30 AM

DTMH, did it occur to you there’s a reason it took a dozen years (and a war) to get us out of the Great Depression with Keynesian economics running full-bore?

Riddle me this — does Keynesian economics tell you it should take that long? If so, chapter and verse please.

DrSteve on March 4, 2009 at 11:30 AM

Which would be fine if Obama were offering “socialism.” But he’s not. He’s modeling policies produced by Social Democratic parties in Western Europe.

Europe isn’t socialist?

We used to look at those countries and scoff at their unemployment rates (while ignoring their higher quality secondary education, healthier, longer lived populations, lower work hours, and a higher baseline standard of living for the poor). But now what can we point to after 30 years of Reaganomics that indicates they had the wrong idea?

You do like to peddle the garbage, don’t you? Are you even capable of saying something that is true.

Most of Europe has full school choice, something your union buddies won’t permit here.

As to the health issues, that is due to different demographics and differing ways the statistics are collected.

The poor in Europe are better off, are you utterly delusional? (That was a rhetorical question.)

It’s been shown time and time again, that the poor in the US live better than even the middle class in Europe.

MarkTheGreat on March 4, 2009 at 11:32 AM

Under card check employees can, if they so choose, conduct a secret ballot election. That doesn’t go away with the legislation.

DeathToMediaHacks on March 4, 2009 at 10:22 AM

Is there any lie that you will not peddle to try and protect your idol?

Only if both parties agree, will there be a secret ballot.
If the union doesn’t agree, then the cards alone is enough.
Since they already have the cards, why would they want to risk a ballot.

MarkTheGreat on March 4, 2009 at 11:36 AM

Do you think you will be among that elite? LOL…Stalin purged academia. Seems there was no room for people that could think.

genso on March 4, 2009 at 10:50 AM

Don’t fret; Death is safely among the academia that can’t think.

DarkCurrent on March 4, 2009 at 11:38 AM

It’s been 60 years, why isn’t Germany socialist yet?

DeathToMediaHacks on March 4, 2009 at 10:24 AM

They are.

MarkTheGreat on March 4, 2009 at 11:38 AM

Pardonme for being redundant because I have made this suggestion elsewhere.

We should test the “Free Choice Act” in Minnesota. So that they do not have to examine votes, after the fact, for intent we can do away with the secret ballot, attach the voters name on a card with the actual vote (now we can trace each vote to confirm it), and 50% + 1 will determine the outcome.

After all the concept of a secret ballot has certainly outlived its usefulness and it’s time for change, change that brings hope, hope for clean, transparent elections. Hmmmm.

Pardonme on March 4, 2009 at 11:39 AM

“Look for the union label and make sure that it does not sit on your table.”

Everybody sing.

Unions are the enemy of free people.

NoDonkey on March 4, 2009 at 11:39 AM

Who do these idiots think they’re fooling?

Rovin on March 4, 2009 at 10:27 AM

A majority of the voters.

Unfortunately.

MarkTheGreat on March 4, 2009 at 11:40 AM

I think it will take a decade for this economy to fully recover. Two terms and Hillary in 2016 should do it. It took about that long to get out of the Depression and establish the social safety net/public-private partnerships/keynesian programs that created the suburbs, the middle class, the interstate highway system and a new wave of American manufacturing. Transformation doesn’t happen by March of a new Administration.

You really think that Americans will wait until 2018/2020 to be “made whole” again? Those same Americans that wanted us out of Iraq in 2 years, their McMansions, SUV’s and 10%+ annual returns on their 401k’s, etc. Dude, you have to be smarter than that. If we’re anything in America, we’re impatient to a fault. It’s foolish to think that voters will wait that long for the economy to improve or give O that long to fulfill his promises. And O can’t believe that, otherwise he’d be preserving his political capital and trickling out his policies over the next year. God knows he’s got the numbers to pass it all anyway so why the rush? He’s rushing because he also knows that his he only has until 2010 to get most of this passed before the Dem majority takes a hit. So, even he knows that his power base has a finite life, therefore, he rushing to jam all of this through as fast as possible. If what he promises works and we have sub 5% UE and DOW $15k in 2010/12, then O will be a genius and we’ll get Donkey rule until at least 2020. If not, then all bets are off.

volnation on March 4, 2009 at 11:41 AM

what i don’t get is this: after this “card check will pass this year” comment & the absolutely clueless market analysis of yesterday by bambi, the markets are going up. and turbo tax tim is testifying up on the Hill.

kelley in virginia on March 4, 2009 at 11:43 AM

DeathToMediaHacks on March 4, 2009 at 10:31 AM

Yes, the college did not collapse, however what students had to pay went up. Which they didn’t mind, since govt was covering most of them anyway.

The portion that wasn’t being covered by tuitions was received directly from govt in the first place.

MarkTheGreat on March 4, 2009 at 11:44 AM

“Look for the union label and make sure that it does not sit on your table.”

NoDonkey on March 4, 2009 at 11:39 AM

And I cannot wait for this on every street. Oh Joy!!!

WashJeff on March 4, 2009 at 11:46 AM

Which would be fine if Obama were offering “socialism.” But he’s not. He’s modeling policies produced by Social Democratic parties in Western Europe.

Europe isn’t socialist?

We used to look at those countries and scoff at their unemployment rates (while ignoring their higher quality secondary education, healthier, longer lived populations, lower work hours, and a higher baseline standard of living for the poor). But now what can we point to after 30 years of Reaganomics that indicates they had the wrong idea?

Obviously coming from someone who never lived there. I did and it is socialist. Every election cycle the politicians come around and tell the people we will get you better
doctors and hospitals. What has happened? Two medical systems, one for the people who can afford private insurance who go to private doctors and hospitals and one for the poor suckers stuck in the state system.
You really want to have to call DC to wait on the phone for hours to find out if you can go for an xray?
My father got cancer over there @ 70, he was told he was over the age limit for the surgery and had to just go die.
Great system…..

ouldbollix on March 4, 2009 at 11:49 AM

the force of government arbitration behind labor disputes

This is how this provision will work.
The union will put forth their proposal.
The management will put forth their proposal.
The union will declare that they want their proposal and will not negotiate.
After thirty days, the govt mediator will step in.
He will carefully examine both the union proposal and the management proposal.
He will then rule that the company must except the union proposal, plus 10%.

MarkTheGreat on March 4, 2009 at 11:49 AM

I’d bet that Obama isn’t quite foolish enough to push yet another market-killing bill…

Go ahead and make that bet, Ed.
Something about “a fool and his money”.
Casinos love guys like you.

SKYFOX on March 4, 2009 at 11:49 AM

I’d like to ask Obama-Mugabe why he sends his kids to a private school. At least Jimmy Carter had the integrity to send Amy to DC public schools.

NoDonkey on March 4, 2009 at 10:43 AM

One of the recent bills out of congress ended the very limited school choice program in DC.

MarkTheGreat on March 4, 2009 at 11:51 AM

I think it will take a decade for this economy to fully recover. It took about that long to get out of the Depression and

If it hadn’t been for FDR’s tax increases and ever changing regulatory requirements, it would have taken only a year for the economy recover.

establish the social safety net/public-private partnerships/keynesian programs that created the suburbs, the middle class, the interstate highway system and a new wave of American manufacturing. Transformation doesn’t happen by March of a new Administration.

In what passes for your pathetic mind, you actually believe that there was no middle class prior to FDR’s Depression?

The suburbs were created by the invention of the car.

The interstate highway system was a military project.

MarkTheGreat on March 4, 2009 at 11:54 AM

Obama supports public funds for chater schools and expanding charter schools, do you even pay attention to him.
DeathToMediaHacks on March 4, 2009 at 10:50 AM

That explains why they are getting rid of the program in DC.

MarkTheGreat on March 4, 2009 at 11:56 AM

One of the recent bills out of congress ended the very limited school choice program in DC.

Yeah, well DC only spends $15,000 per pupil and for that, they graduate 50% and 50% of them can actually read.

What do you expect for $15,000 per year? – The Democrat Party.

NoDonkey on March 4, 2009 at 11:57 AM

I think the New Yorker had it right.

Kini on March 4, 2009 at 11:58 AM

MarkTheGreat on March 4, 2009 at 11:49 AM

Exactly.
+1

Besides the whole issue of card check we’re talking about govt mandating outcomes through the coercive power of the govt. This is not mediation, this is arbitration. The difference is huge tho’ frequently used interchangeably.

Arbitration:

This process is fully directed by a person or authority empowered as arbitrator who has in fact the same powers of a judge but limited to the conflict in question. Arbitration is not directed to find a middle term to be agreed by the sides but it is directed to conclude and impose a final decision or resolution of the conflict in the most fair possible way following justice and after hearing and studying the versions of both sides.

moxie_neanderthal on March 4, 2009 at 12:01 PM

What do you expect for $15,000 per year?

NoDonkey on March 4, 2009 at 11:57 AM

- Breakfast, lunch and dinner
- Autuomatic grade promotion
- Annually viewings of An Inconvient Truth
- Metal detectors at the school entrance

WashJeff on March 4, 2009 at 12:04 PM

WashJeff on March 4, 2009 at 12:04 PM

Don’t forget the peer led marksmanship training, 12 years of condom instruction, not to mention basic pharmaceuticals.

NoDonkey on March 4, 2009 at 12:07 PM

This bill opens the door for substantial executive overreach in the private sector by skipping mediation and simply imposing outcomes by decree which may be unpopular or otherwise unachievable through political means.

This shortcircuits republican form of govt and has the potential to have a very deleterious impact on the business climate in general.

Just another brick in the wall……

moxie_neanderthal on March 4, 2009 at 12:11 PM

Oooooooh… Rushbo is on fire today.

ErinF on March 4, 2009 at 12:17 PM

RUSH just challenged Obama to a debate!!!
Even offered to pick him up.

With the leak o f news that Obama and friends have plotted against Rush for months now, Rush said hes ready to take on Obama. This is good stuff. Rush would wipe the floor with Obama.

bucsox79 on March 4, 2009 at 12:21 PM

Oooooooh… Rushbo is on fire today.

ErinF on March 4, 2009 at 12:17 PM

Wow.

Just heard it. He just threw it down.

Saltysam on March 4, 2009 at 12:22 PM

NoDonkey on March 4, 2009 at 11:57 AM

Your literacy numbers may be too high. I read a Daily Mail article a while back that reported a rate of functional illiteracy in D.C. residents at over 70%.

Having lived near there once, that sounds about right to me.

AZCoyote on March 4, 2009 at 12:26 PM

I’d bet that Obama isn’t quite foolish enough to push yet another market-killing bill,

Dont be too sure. This President is off to pretty shaky start, and I put nothing past him or his Congressional enablers. Now, where did I put that extra box of ammo and dehydrated frog legs?

Mike D. on March 4, 2009 at 12:30 PM

This would be a total disaster if this legislation gets through. I believe it is totally an effort to threaten and bully people if they are on the wrong side of the issue that the union wants and doesn’t want anyone in opposition. This kind of power leads to absolutely nothing positive and is permission to practice tyranny.

rsl775 on March 4, 2009 at 12:34 PM

Your literacy numbers may be too high. I read a Daily Mail article a while back that reported a rate of functional illiteracy in D.C. residents at over 70%.

Having lived near there once, that sounds about right to me.

AZCoyote on March 4, 2009 at 12:26 PM

Of course, the Irony is that you would have to read a British paper to learn the facts about Washington D.C. literacy rate. Worse, of course, is that this literacy rate is the same or worse for blacks all over the world. Brazil, Haiti, South Africa, Nigeria, Detroit, anywhere.

GunRunner on March 4, 2009 at 12:39 PM

Card Check?!?!?…Just about the only DOW stock that has survived is Wal-Mart…The Unions are licking their chops..This will KILL any neart-term Market recovery…

Soon, we will all be living in huts like his Kenyan brother or illegally emigrating to another country like his aunt…

sirpatrick on March 4, 2009 at 12:44 PM

Obama + Card Check = Neo-Marxism 101

Are we getting the picture yet, or do we still have our heads in the sand. Or… are we really all okay with this?

Lawrence on March 4, 2009 at 12:48 PM

card check = more industry leaving the U.S.

centryt on March 4, 2009 at 12:49 PM

I read a Daily Mail article a while back that reported a rate of functional illiteracy in D.C. residents at over 70%.

Let’s see then, that’s 15 kids per classroom at 15 grand a pop.

That’s only $225,000 per DC classroom? How can anyone expect them to make due with that?

Yes, it’s best to keep the public school system Democrats love so much. It’s evident that there is NO ONE in this country who could figure out a way to educate 15 kids using only $225,000 per year.

Not even a brilliant man like Obama-Mugabe.

NoDonkey on March 4, 2009 at 12:58 PM

This is great news! Soon every industry will enjoy the same benefits that union labor has brought to Ford and General Motors!

I wouldn’t be surprised if Obama is floating this sop to the unions in the knowledge that it will die in Congress, thanks to the increasingly disgruntled Blue Dogs. All the unions will remember is that Obama tried to give them what they wanted. On the other hand, I wouldn’t really be surprised if he does try to go ahead with this – it gets him closer to socialized medicine, and the primitive liberal understanding of economics might lead him to think that radically increasing the cost of labor will have no siginficant effect on businesses, which after all still need to hire people to make their products, right?

Card Check is the last stop on the degradation of the American system into fascism. Collective bargaining is not inherently wrong, or unhealthy for a capitalist system, but only when membership in the unions is entirely voluntary, and the government adopts a neutral regulatory stance between unions and businesses. Unions are necessarily compulsive of their members, because the union must be able to count on the near-unanimous obedience of its membership to exercise any power.

Like any other political collective, the union always wants more members, and giving them the ability to coerce membership simply makes them organs of tyranny – especially when the state intervenes to tip the balance of the management vs. labor equation in the unions’ favor. It can do this by compelling businesses to employ union labor, directing government business exclusively toward businesses that employ union labor, raising the costs of non-union labor with various employee benefit mandates, and subsidizng businesses that would otherwise fail due to union demands. Our government does all of these things.

In the present American system, unions have long since ceased to protect laborers from abuse by their employers, and become essentially arms of the state. Unions compel membership and extract union dues, which the union leaders use to support politicians who give the union leaders what they want, and when the unions’ demands destroy the business that employs them, the government seizes money from taxpayers and uses it to prop up the devastated industry so the unions can stay in business. Union labor becomes a product businesses are forced to buy, provided by workers who are forced to produce it, selling in a market where competition is forbidden by law, and sold at whatever price the union leaders see fit to demand. In many of these unionized industries, outright nationalization would be a very small step.

Doctor Zero on March 4, 2009 at 1:50 PM

He often talks about things not in public. I believe he told the Mexican groups that he would see to it that illegal immigrants would receive amnesty, or something like that.

Alana on March 4, 2009 at 4:22 PM

they are gonna try, as the situation deteriorates they are going to be more likely to strengthen and reward those loyal to him. The worse things get the harder they will push.

rob verdi on March 4, 2009 at 4:33 PM

Your going to have a union and you will be in the union whether you want it or like it. That is called freedom of choice in Obama land.

JellyToast on March 4, 2009 at 4:43 PM

Do union workers realize that after the Obama-Mugabe regime destroys the economy, there will be no work for the workers?

We can’t build an economy on unemployment benefits and lawsuits, in short.

NoDonkey on March 4, 2009 at 4:47 PM

Yes, this will have the same effect as the Wagner Act in the Depession: another depression within a depression.

PattyJ on March 4, 2009 at 5:00 PM

You should bump the Megan Kelly post up to be right under this one.

funky chicken on March 4, 2009 at 5:25 PM

Is it me, the picture, or is The One aging before our eyes?

EconomicNeocon on March 4, 2009 at 5:58 PM

Because nothing says un-American like the secret ballot! /sarc

These Dem fascists never quit paying off special interests at the expense of prosperity, do they?

Rae on March 4, 2009 at 6:12 PM

Neuquenguy (from 1056am post)
Are you looking for a book on Stalin purging academia?

“Journey Into the Whirlwind” by Eugenia Semyonovna Ginzburg
is a good place to start.

journeyintothewhirlwind on March 4, 2009 at 7:49 PM

DeathToMediaHacks

Exactly how closely related were your parents before they got married?

darktood on March 4, 2009 at 9:51 PM

It’s against the law to have Unions in Congress (aids/staffers) as it would be too disruptive to business.

TN Mom on March 4, 2009 at 10:16 PM

Card Check is an economic dooms day bomb. I believe this will easily double unemployment in 6 months or less.

I have worked with entrepreneurs for over 30 years as a CPA and Computer Consultant. Entrepreneurs, because of their nature, will never let a union shop steward or federal mediator tell them how to run their business.

Most of them can retire tomorrow and they and their families will be fine. I have already asked a dozen of them what they would do and everyone of them said they will shut down. They run companies with 50 to 250 employees in various industries.

A couple of weeks ago Laura Ingram had an entrepreneur on her show that had 6 manufacturing plants and 2,000 USA employees. He said he would immediately close down if Card Check passes.

55AWM on March 4, 2009 at 10:20 PM

DeathToMediaHacks

I do hope you are being well paid for your blogging. I’d hate to think that someone could actually believe your drivel.

JeffVader on March 5, 2009 at 2:06 AM

Just read this article about the greedy looting HOGS who call themselves New York politicians and the millions they have coming to them in earmarks for stuff that is a complete and total waste of money and will stimulate NOTHING. When I read Atlas Shrugged years ago I scoffed at how cartoonish and exaggerated the characters were. Now I realize that Rand was the most prophetic author of the 20th Century. Just read this crap and tell me these bastards shouldn’t be rounded up, imprisoned and tortured:

http://wcbstv.com/politics/new.york.pork.2.950544.html

Sharke on March 5, 2009 at 3:22 AM

I think everyone is overreacting. Unions have a long history of working hand in hand with management to form a successful business partnerhsip.

Why look at the US steel industry today. No wait, I mean look at the auto industry. Er, um, how are the airlines doing?

Our public schools cost twice as much per pupil as any other country in the world. Fortunately for the teachers unions there is no competition to put them out of business.

Thanks Unions!

Ted Torgerson on March 5, 2009 at 8:02 AM

Ted Torgerson on March 5, 2009 at 8:02 AM

You got me with your first paragraph…good opening.

right2bright on March 5, 2009 at 8:23 AM

Ted Torgerson on March 5, 2009 at 8:02 AM

Like parasites that kill their hosts.

Rae on March 5, 2009 at 12:27 PM

Do you remember hearing Ross perot (sp) speaking of the “giant sucking sound”………. It’s back

workingforpigs on March 5, 2009 at 1:09 PM

If this bill passes companies that can leave the country will and we will be importing their products at a higher price. Completely foolish.

workingforpigs on March 5, 2009 at 1:10 PM

Harassment and coercion by unions thugs? Who woulda thunk it.

Truck Drivers and Dockworkers Fight Back Against Teamster Union Intimidation
Employees seek to throw out union after union bosses’ ugly campaign of harassment and coercion:

Seattle, Washington (March 5, 2009) — Employees from nine collective bargaining units of Oak Harbor Freight Lines, Inc. have filed decertification petitions seeking elections to oust the Teamster union as the workers’ monopoly bargaining agent.

Rae on March 5, 2009 at 1:33 PM

workingforpigs on March 5, 2009 at 1:10 PM

That’s why I’ve advocated a closure of the exits.

sethstorm on March 5, 2009 at 4:12 PM

55AWM on March 4, 2009 at 10:20 PM

If they want to sink the ship, they had better hope it doesn’t pull them down with it.

sethstorm on March 5, 2009 at 4:14 PM

NoDonkey on March 4, 2009 at 4:47 PM

There’s a border with Mexico that could provide some permanent jobs for citizens if a good wall were built/maintained/defended.

sethstorm on March 5, 2009 at 4:18 PM

Do you remember hearing Ross perot (sp) speaking of the “giant sucking sound”………. It’s back

workingforpigs on March 5, 2009 at 1:09 PM

Problem: He was pro-citizen, not pro H1.

sethstorm on March 5, 2009 at 4:34 PM

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