We know what
readers want: More card check items, and multipart card check items.
interview, Sen. Specter appears unfazed by
of support if only he'll vote for card check:
"Labor continues to press its case on the basis of a lot of jobs being exported, the pensions have gone to hell, lots of problems. And, as I say in my floor statement and law review article, I am well aware of the tradition of secret ballot on political elections and the difficulties of binding arbitration on the conducting of a business so I'm hearing people on all sides," he said.
Jennifer Rubin and Greg Sargent interpret this as an anti-card-check quote--and Specter does hint he'd rather focus on reforming the National Labor Relations Board than screw around with the secret ballot or impose mandatory arbitration (both things the card check bill would do). But as Rubin notes, after the unions' Big Offer Specter had to push off from labor's position, even if he intends to vote for the bill. Otherwise he'd look like a stooge .
2. The labor side's ability to get reporters to use their version of card-check's controversial secret ballot provisions continues to amaze. Here's WaPo 's Alec MacGillis :
The bill, first introduced in 2003, gives workers the choice of whether they want to organize by getting a majority of workers to sign pro-union cards, instead of having to hold secret-ballot elections.
That's one finely-spun sentence there. Who are the "workers" who will have this "choice"? They are the union organizers mounting a unionization campaign. Do any other "workers" who sign or don't sign the cards have a "choice" of methods? a) The cards aren't to choose the method. They are to choose the union. If 50% of the workers sign the cards the union will have won, period. An election at that point is prohibited; b) The only way an individual worker could use this system to "choose" a secret ballot election is by somehow signing a card if it will help union organizers meet the 30% threshhold required for an election but refusing to sign it if it will give the union organizers the 50% that will kill the election. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer recently outlined this complicated card-signing strategy with a straight face on the House floor . But of course no individual worker will know if his signed card will provide the 31% plurality or the 51% majority . Only the organizers know this. You could sign the card intending to provoke an election and discover that you actually prevented an election. There's no way for ordinary workers to reliably game the system in order to "choose" a secret ballot. c) The whole underlying dispute is over whether the act of signing cards is an accurate expression of worker choices, or whether it subjects individuals to subtle and unsubtle community pressure to vote against their real preference. By assuming that the cards represent the true "choice" of workers, Hoyer and others assume what is at issue.
What is it with WaPo ? Has a mid-level editor handed down an edict that the 'workers' choice' description has to be followed? Its persistence is especially odd since there would appear to be a short, clear and honest way of describing the bill, which is that it "eliminates an employer's ability to insist on a secret ballot election before recognizing a union." We card check opponents don't like this description because it emphasizes management's rights, not workers' privacy rights. Card check supporters don't like the description because it is accurate.
The whole point of the change is to give unions a way to avoid a secret ballot when the employer thinks the union might lose such an election.
3 ) Rasmussen reports that only 9% of non-union workers would like to belong to a union. Labor backers often cite a 2005 Peter Hart survey showing that 53% of "non-managerial workers ... definitely or probably would vote in favor of union representation in their workplace." Hard to reconcile those two numbers, no? The Hart poll was paid for by the AFL-CIO, but that doesn't make it wrong. It would be useful to see the exact Hart questions (and the questions on the same poll that preceded them). ... 3:05 A.M.