|Congress Becomes Big Labor's Obedient Subsidiary|
By CFIF Staff
Thursday, March 08 2007
Why Not Unionize the Military While We're at It?
A funny thing happened on the road to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's utopian end to the "culture of corruption." Namely, the 110th Congress quickly became a mere appendage of Big Labor, Inc.
After acquiring majority status by portraying themselves as centrists untainted by any so-called "special interests," Democrats quickly passed their innocuous-sounding "First 100 Hours" agenda. This included such symbolic measures as student loan rate reductions, lobbying reform and the minimum wage.
In baseball parlance, this was classic "small ball" – a strategy emphasizing limited, methodical victories rather than substantial, "home run" achievements.
Restive Big Labor, however, simply wasn't going to allow its agenda to remain in the shadows for long. After all, powerful unions had provided critical electoral propellant to Democrats through enormous campaign contributions (out of union members' hard-earned wages, of course), armies of volunteers and formal get-out-the-vote campaigns.
Payback would not wait patiently.
Sure enough, Big Labor's first significant House victory came last week in the form of the disingenuously-named "Employee Free Choice Act," otherwise known as "card check" legislation. Far from securing "free choice" for employees, this bill literally does the opposite by abolishing the secret ballot during workplace unionization campaigns.
Instead, burly union representatives, certainly not known for their delicate methods of persuasion throughout American history, isolate individual employees and present them with acceptance cards to sign. Unsurprisingly, workplace elections to later rescind union recognition must still be conducted by secret ballot, not card check.
Unbelievably, these cards are later made public to co-workers, the union and the employer itself.
To illustrate this absurdity, imagine a federal, state or local election in which secret ballots and private voting booths were replaced by intimidating party representatives menacingly approaching voters with cards endorsing particular candidates. Imagine further that citizens' votes were then made public.
The very concept smacks of Stalinist Russia.
Perhaps the most despicable irony lies in the fact that Representative George Miller (D-California) sponsored the recent House bill. This is the same Representative Miller who joined Rep. Barney Frank, Rep. Dennis Kucinich and thirteen other Congressional Democrats in 2001 urging Mexican leaders to protect the secret ballot during Mexican union organizing campaigns:
Along with Representative Miller, all 11 signers of that letter who remain in Congress voted last week to abolish the same secret ballot here in America that they urged Mexico to maintain.
But Big Labor's Congressional payoff was just beginning.
Now, majority Democrats seek to encumber the Transportation Security Administration ("TSA") by suddenly imposing collective bargaining rules upon its 43,000 workers. When the TSA was created in 2001 after 9/11, Congress intentionally prevented unionization by TSA employees. This wisely reflects the fact that burdensome union regulations and workplace procedures would undermine security and efficiency by bureaucratizing the organization, which was created to deftly adjust to ever-evolving security threats.
Shockingly, new Senator Claire McCaskill (D – Missouri) even asserted that the War on Terror was insufficient reason to supersede collective bargaining constraints. According to Senator McCaskill, however, hurricanes might constitute sufficient emergency.
But the outrage doesn't stop there.
Congress is also considering legislation that would allow convicted felons – yes, that would be criminals – to join the ranks of 750,000 employees at America's sensitive ports. Given the frightfully small number of incoming containers actually inspected at our ports, the possibility that felons can't be excluded from such vital positions simply boggles the mind.
This fundamentally unserious approach to our nation's security illustrates the sheer power that Big Labor exerts upon the new Congress.
Big Labor will cash in even more chips when No Child Left Behind legislation comes up for renewal this year. True nationwide reform will not occur until vouchers and free school choice are implemented throughout America's school systems. Under the watchful eye of unions, however, the likelihood of meaningful educational reform is dead on arrival.
Due to the dwindling benefits of union membership, private-sector unionization now stands at only 7.4% (from a high of approximately 35% in the 1950s). In the halls of Congress these days, however, Big Labor is all smiles.
National security, secret ballots and American educational excellence be damned.
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