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July 27, 2004

No Secret Ballot For YOU!

John Kerry and John Edwards have come out against the secret ballot, that fundamental electoral element that ensures each voter can vote his or her conscience without fear of intimidation or retaliation. Well, not in presidential elections -- in union representation elections. They prefer that workers be subjected to coercive "card check" programs in which union and management conspire to force acceptance of union representation.

This situation is particularly common in the Big Three automobile companies and their suppliers, where management waives the secret ballot election and then turns over personal information on all employees to the union. What follows is a series of letters, phone calls and home visits -- and often acts of vandalism and violence -- designed to "persuade" resistant workers to join. Once fifty percent of the employees have signed union cards, the union becomes the official representative of all workers, and automatically receives dues from the paychecks of unwilling workers.

Congressional supporter of the secret ballot, Rep. Charlie Norwood (R-Ga.), puts it very well when he says

"Hard-working folks deserve the right to a fair and secret
election, not the threats, arm-twisting, and shakedown tactics that come
with 'card check' campaigns."

Seems to me that if the unions were really out to REPRESENT the workers instead of shaking them down for dues, they would support the secret ballot. The fact that they do not support it speaks volumes.

Some 80% of newly unionized workers in the AFL-CIO are organized through the card check rather than the secret ballot. One wonders if the number of newly unionized workers would be so high if all had the opportunity for the secret ballot. More to the point, one has to ask how many of those workers would refuse to unionize under a national Right-to Work Law, defending the First Amendment right of every worker not to be forced into involuntary association with a union.

UPDATE: While perusing Lucianne.com this morning, I came across this piece that does a good job of explaining union abuses of the card check system from the inside.





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