Ed Frank got a chance to ask John Sweeney, president of the AFL-CIO, a couple of questions about the Employee Free Choice Act at a rally for the Card Check legislation yesterday, as well as another union official. The rally talked endlessly about how Card Check would protect workers and allow employees to form unions, but Ed never got an explanation of how the secret ballot manifests itself as an unfair labor practice. He didn’t get any clarification from his interviews, either:
Organized labor claims that secret-ballot elections lead to intimidation by employers, but if 90% of workers signed cards when confronted by union organizers in dark parking lots or in vacant break rooms and then only a very slim majority actually voted to unionize when those union operatives couldn’t see their votes, doesn’t that prove that union intimidation is much worse than employer intimidation?
We asked that simple question to two union officials at the rally, including AFL-CIO President John Sweeney. Not surprisingly, neither were really able to answer the question.
In fact, Ed’s logic seems unassailable. If union activists get 90% of workers to sign these cards but can’t get a majority in a secret ballot — in which neither the union nor the employer knows how each individual voted — the problem of intimidation appears to occur more on the union side than the employer side. The two officials start blathering on about access to information, but clearly the union gets plenty of access if they get 90% of the workers to sign cards.
The unions want Card Check not because they want to end intimidation, but because they want to rely on it.