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Change in unions bad for America
Letter to the Editor
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Published: 12/14/2008 12:00 AM

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A dangerous piece of legislation is waiting to be pushed by the new administration in Washington. This new law would eliminate National Labor Relations Board elections.

Last year House Democrats proposed a remarkably misnamed piece of legislation. It was called the "Employee Free Choice Act" (EFCA). This bill had nothing to do with free choice. It was no choice at all! NLRB elections would be abolished. Unions would be able to get in via a card majority.

As a management-side labor attorney, I can tell everyone that we routinely have cases where 100 percent of employees signed cards, yet the union was defeated in a secret ballot election. That is democracy in action - the secret ballot. The reason that the union was defeated had nothing to do with employer threats or misconduct. It had everything to do with the fact that the cards were signed without conviction. Once employees heard both sides of the story, they regularly voted against having a union in their workplace.

EFCA will certainly be brought up again. EFCA is bad legislation. Under EFCA, workers will lose the right to express their will in private. The right to vote is at the core of democratic beliefs.

Much of the support for EFCA is based on a political desire to give union leaders what they want. But, one-sided legislation like this is rarely good for either side. It is bad law. It is bad policy. NLRB elections are the very bedrock of our labor-management policies. We should not upend decades of settled labor law.

Richard H. Wessels

St. Charles