Friday, August 8, 2008

An Old Liberal Takes On Modern Progressives & The Employee Free Choice Act

The Employee Free Choice Act is an Orwellian attack on democracy in America. In direct contradiction to its name, the Act would strip American workers of their freedom to choose whether to unionize. The Act takes away the right of employees to decide whether to unionize by secret ballot and replaces it with a system quite literally built to allow for worker intimidation by Unions. It is being pushed by Democrats as a massive pay off Big Labour and has, not surprisingly, the strong support of the One.

Whatever the Democratic Party may once have been, with their embrace of this Act and their embrace of high fuel prices as a way to "save the planet," it should be blatantly obvious to all but the most rigid ideolouge that the Democratic Party is not the party of the "working man" today. The situation is such that the father of America's progressives, George McGovern, has written against the Employee Free Choice Act in today's WSJ.

This from George McGovern:

As a congressman, senator and one-time Democratic nominee for the presidency, I've participated in my share of vigorous public debates over issues of great consequence. And the public has been free to accept or reject the decisions I made when they walked into a ballot booth, drew the curtain and cast their vote. I didn't always win, but I always respected the process.

Voting is an immense privilege.

That is why I am concerned about a new development that could deny this freedom to many Americans. As a longtime friend of labor unions, I must raise my voice against pending legislation I see as a disturbing and undemocratic overreach not in the interest of either management or labor.

The legislation is called the Employee Free Choice Act, and I am sad to say it runs counter to ideals that were once at the core of the labor movement. Instead of providing a voice for the unheard, EFCA risks silencing those who would speak.

The key provision of EFCA is a change in the mechanism by which unions are formed and recognized. Instead of a private election with a secret ballot overseen by an impartial federal board, union organizers would simply need to gather signatures from more than 50% of the employees in a workplace or bargaining unit, a system known as "card-check." There are many documented cases where workers have been pressured, harassed, tricked and intimidated into signing cards that have led to mandatory payment of dues.

Under EFCA, workers could lose the freedom to express their will in private, the right to make a decision without anyone peering over their shoulder, free from fear of reprisal.

. . . To my friends supporting EFCA I say this: We cannot be a party that strips working Americans of the right to a secret-ballot election. We are the party that has always defended the rights of the working class. To fail to ensure the right to vote free of intimidation and coercion from all sides would be a betrayal of what we have always championed.

Some of the most respected Democratic members of Congress -- including Reps. Marcy Kaptur of Ohio, George Miller and Pete Stark of California, and Barney Frank of Massachusetts -- have advised that workers in developing countries such as Mexico insist on the secret ballot when voting as to whether or not their workplaces should have a union. We should have no less for employees in our country.

I worry that there has been too little discussion about EFCA's true ramifications, and I think much of the congressional support is based on a desire to give our friends among union leaders what they want. . . .

Read the entire article. It truly is a mark of just how rotted the modern left is that, as McGovern noted above, they will demand secret ballots for union workers in foreign countries yet act willing to strip workers of the right in America. This goes hand in glove with my post of yesterday on how the post modern far left of today has more in common with Josef Stalin than John Locke.

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