Unions Deny Secret Ballot Elections to American Workers
by NAWER, Fri Mar 31, 2006 at 09:51:53 AM EST
American workers deserve Secret Ballot Elections. Ted Kennedy and the Unions give workers no choice. No Secret Ballot Elections is Union and Liberal Democratic Tyranny. Join us in our fight to protect worker's rights from abuse and corruption at the National Alliance for Worker and Employer Rights. http://www.freeworkplace.org
A Case for the Secret Ballot Protection Act - Executive Summary
The Secret Ballot Protection Act (SBPA), introduced in the 108th Congress by Rep. Charlie Norwood, would require government-supervised secret ballot elections to decide whether employees wish to be represented by a union. The aim of the bill is to reverse a recent trend under which unions use leverage, including coercion, to compel employers to recognize unions without giving the employees the benefit of choice by secret ballot.
Current Law. Under existing labor relations law, employees do not have the right to insist on an election by secret ballot to determine if they desire union representation. Instead, whether an election is held is an employer-option: the employer may demand a government-run election but may also agree to recognize a union merely upon the presentation of "authorization cards" signed by a majority of employees in the presence of union organizers or pro-union peers.
Problems. In the past decade, unions have all but abandoned the traditional organizing process which culminates in a National Labor Relations Board-run secret ballot election. According to AFL-CIO President John Sweeney, 80% of new union members are added as a result of "neutrality/card check agreements" (NCCAs) under which employers agree to recognize unions based upon authorization cards rather than elections. And unions win recognition 80% of the time in such cases, rather than the little more 50% win-rate common in Board-conducted elections. The problems arising from the use of this new tactic include:
Unreliability of cards. Authorization cards are inherently less than reliable because they are subject to one-sided solicitation under which unions can pressure, harass, and coerce employees, make a one-sided sales pitch, and force employees to make a public rather than a secret decision about unionization;
Lack of information for employees. Under an NCCA, employees must not only make an open decision about unionization but must usually do so without comparative information concerning the downsides of unionization;
Pressure on employers. Unions typically coerce employers into entering into NCCAs by various means, including applying pressure through customers and suppliers, filing frivolous administrative charges and lawsuits, inciting community groups and leaders, and stirring up bad publicity. Many employers find it easier to acquiesce than to protect their employees' interest in a secret ballot election.
SBPA.To address these problems, the SBPA would:
require an NLRB-conducted secret ballot election before a union can become an exclusive collective bargaining representative;
make it unlawful for an employer to recognize or bargain with a union without having been selected in an NLRB election, but exempt existing bargaining relationships;
make it unlawful for a union to "cause or attempt to cause an employer to recognize or bargain" with a union that has not achieved majority support in an NLRB election.
Benefits of SBPA. The benefits of enacting the SBPA include:
eliminating unreliable authorization cards as a means for unions to achieve representative status and shielding employees from union coercion, harassment, peer pressure, and misinformation;
embodying in law an absolute right for employees to make a decision about unionization in a fair, secret, and democratic election;
giving employees at least the opportunity to learn about both sides of the unionization issue;
freeing employers from union coercion to sacrifice their employees' interest in a fair, secret and democratic election