America's new labor battle: SEIU versus ... Media Matters

I’m tempted to compare this to the Emperor versus Darth Vader, but Vader had already turned good when he threw the Emperor down that shaft. It’s more like Alien versus Predator. Jason versus Freddy. Jeb versus Christie.

Two left-wing attack dogs enter, one left-wing attack dog leaves.

Media Matters for America is apparently resisting an effort by Service Employees International Union Local 500 to unionize its staff.

Last week, the union filed a representation petition with the National Labor Relations Board, indicating that the nonprofit media watchdog organization rejected an effort by the union to organize MMFA’s staff through a Card Check election…

MMFA has regularly presented itself as a supporter of organized labor. It has argued that “economists point to declining union participation as one cause of the growing economic rift in America” and claimed it was a fact that “unions increase productivity [and] do not reduce business competitiveness.”

In other words, rather than accept the signatures of a majority of employees in favor of unionization (the card-check option), MMFA is demanding that SEIU conduct a secret-ballot election. That doesn’t necessarily mean that MMFA management opposes unionization, notes Sean Higgins; Volkswagen supported the UAW’s failed union effort at its Tennessee plant. True enough, but Tennessee law made secret-ballot the legally preferred means of union recognition in the state. It may be that Volkswagen chose to comply with that simply in the name of avoiding a court battle afterward. What’s MMFA’s reason for supporting secret-ballot? After all, they’ve been big fans of card check for everyone else:

Media Matters’ sudden and convenient discovery of secret ballots is also hypocritical, since the group pushed strongly for the noxious card-check bill that bore the Orwellian title “Employee Free Choice Act.” The group repeatedly published blog posts criticizing people who said the bill would abolish employees’ secret ballots. Of course, it would have—it mandated card check recognition with 50%-plus-one of the employees’ public card signatures, rather than private votes. (You can guess which one the SEIU prefers.) And it’s not just that: Media Matters has praised so-called “voluntary recognition agreements” (the union P.R. name for card checks):

“Voluntary card check neutrality agreements have become increasingly popular among unions in the face of nationwide anti-union laws and court decisions that have made it more difficult for unions to communicate directly with workers or to remain certified. Neutrality agreements have reportedly been at the root of more than half of recent successful unionization efforts. Should the Supreme Court find these neutrality agreements unconstitutional, it could ‘put a dagger in organized labor.'”

Now here they are, not only demanding a secret-ballot themselves but hiring powerhouse labor litigators Perkins Coie to defend them before the NLRB. Is this what SEIU gets, wonders, for donating $100,000 to MMFA two years ago?

Makes me wonder: How damaging would unionization be to Media Matters’s bottom line for them to invite a PR disaster like this one in the name of preventing it? They know righty media will have a field day with the story. They also know, or should know, that their very left-wing employees are apt to vote for the SEIU unless there’s a powerful bottom-line reason to oppose it. Surely Tom Steyer or another liberal Koch equivalent will turn on the tap to rescue MMFA if union wages prove too much of a burden. Why not just acquiesce?

Sheesh. First we find out Kruggers is getting rich fighting income inequality, now this. What’s next? Al Gore burning tires in his backyard?