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John Block Reports from Washington

RSS By: John Block, AgWeb.com

John Block has dedicated his professional career to the fields of agriculture, food and health.

Card Check

Apr 03, 2009

One of the highest priority pieces of legislation championed by the Democratic Party and driven by the labor unions is the so-called Employee Free Choice Act. Sounds good. Sounds patriotic American.
 
Well, it’s not exactly the way it sounds. It is otherwise known as “card check” where employees of companies, by signing a card, can choose to unionize. What about the secret ballot? By law today, that’s the way employees decide if they want to unionize. A secret ballot is the American way.
 
The “card check” signature opens the door to union intimidation. Intimidate and threaten employees until they sign the card. Dissention among employees is inevitable if everyone knows what their fellow workers did. With a secret ballot, you can vote your conscience without fear of reprisal.
 
At this point, the legislation is on hold in the Senate because the Democrats don’t have the necessary votes to get it done. However, they only need one or two Republicans to support the bill and it will sail through. President Obama has promised to sign it.
 
The unions and the business community are lobbying and running ads waging a fierce battle on the issue.
 
Labor unions have helped employees in many cases in years past, but their ranks have been thinning. I think one of the reasons for the steady decline of unions is the fact that companies are far more responsible and concerned about their employees than they were 50 or 60 years ago.
 
Wal-Mart Stores recently awarded 2 billion dollars to U.S. hourly employees as a bonus. If you stock the shelves or work the check-out line, you got a bonus. In these times, we’ve heard a lot of criticism about Wall Street bonuses, but Wal-Mart bonuses are applauded.
 
Not surprising, Wal-Mart, our biggest retailer in this country – not unionized – is no friend of “card check.”
 
Until next week, I am John Block from Washington, DC.
 
 
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