In what sometimes seems like an era of constantly expanding government and demonization of free markets…
CFIF on Twitter CFIF on YouTube
Image of the Day: Americans Remain Highly Positive Toward Free Enterprise and Business Over Government

In what sometimes seems like an era of constantly expanding government and demonization of free markets, a recent Gallup poll offers refreshing news - Americans overwhelmingly view free markets positively, especially relative to the federal government:

[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="961"] Free Markets > Federal Government[/caption]

Political candidates would be wise to emphasize this in an election year 2022, and elected leaders would be wise to translate Americans' preference into concrete action.

 …[more]

January 24, 2022 • 12:44 PM

Liberty Update

CFIFs latest news, commentary and alerts delivered to your inbox.
Big Labor's Latest Target: The Secret Ballot Print
By CFIF Staff
Thursday, January 04 2007

With Democrats assuming control of Congress this week, Big Labor is targeting one of America's most basic institutions – the secret ballot. 

Union-proposed "card-check" legislation would eliminate secret balloting during representation elections, and thereby eradicate workers' fundamental right to vote without fear of intimidation or retribution. 

Labor unions, which now spend up to 60% of their discretionary dollars on purely partisan political activities (as opposed to work-related matters for which they were originally established), are progressively losing their power over American life.  As recently as the 1950s, 30% of American employees were unionized.  Today, private-sector unionization has declined to approximately 8%. 

As a result, unions desperately seek methods to inflate their membership rolls and bolster their political influence. 

Enter their card-check campaign, which would abolish rank-and-file employees' right to a secret ballot when voting on union representation.  The term "card check" refers to a method by which labor unions compel formal recognition by employers without an actual employee vote.  Under this process, union representatives personally canvas the relevant workplace and make face-to-face "requests" that employees sign a card indicating union support.  The union merely needs to convince (or intimidate) a majority of employees to openly sign the card in order to become the recognized bargaining unit. 

Just like that, more mandatory dues flow into union coffers. 

Anyone familiar with labor unions and their frequently deplorable behavior is well aware of the manner in which this type of activity can occur.  Namely, the union dispatches burly, intimidating "organizers" to targeted worksites, who then stop each employee and menacingly present a recognition card.  Unfortunately, as most people know, awful behavior by union thugs, such as physical violence and severe property damage during strikes, is anything but rare. 

For precisely this reason, federal labor laws protect employees' right to a secret-ballot vote on whether to recognize unions.  That way, each worker can decide in the privacy of a voting booth whether to accept union representation, without fear of retribution of any kind. 

Obviously, the secret ballot ensures against any sort of retaliation from employers as well. 

With a straight face, however, AFL-CIO's Organizing Director Stewart Acuff proclaims that secret-ballot elections, which have served America perfectly well for over two centuries and counting, "just don't work."  That's quite a statement, considering the fact that the AFL-CIO's official website trumpets the phrase "Protecting Workers' Freedom to Choose." 

The reality is that declining union membership has more to do with the changing nature of our technological workforce and market economy than some alleged flaw in the election process.  And frankly, Big Labor is more concerned with its ability to wring more mandatory dues from employees, which it subsequently spends on political activities, than it is with employee freedoms. 

Regardless, with Democrats returning to control in both the Senate and House of Representatives, Big Labor has seized momentum and made card-check legislation its first priority.  Massachusetts Senator Ted Kennedy has sponsored the Senate's card-check bill, and California Democrat George Miller has done so in the House.  Need we say more? 

Ironically, this legislation has been misnamed the "Employee Free Choice Act," which would be amusing if the bill wasn't so pernicious.  With 42 co-sponsors in the Senate, and 215 co-sponsors in the House, this noxious legislation appears dangerously close to majority passage. 

The pivotal question thus becomes whether timidity on the part of Congressional Republicans or President Bush will allow this abomination to succeed. 

Imagine for a moment the reaction from Big Labor and Senator Kennedy if corporations said that secret ballots "just don't work" and demanded the right to summon individual employees before intimidating management officers and present them with a declination card.  Or imagine that political activists and their media accomplices could monitor citizens' votes during American elections.  The absurdity of such scenarios is obvious. 

Simply put, Americans' right to a secret-ballot vote is nothing less than the foundation of our democratic republic.  Our ability to vote according to our individual consciences, free from worry about intimidation and retaliation, depends upon it. 

Workplace votes are no different, and should be conducted free from coercion or publicity by either side.  Voters, businesses and political leaders must therefore demand that workers' right to free, secret-ballot elections be preserved. 

This may also be the perfect opportunity to President Bush to dust off his veto pen.

Quiz Question   
In what year did Congress pass a law that requires voter identification to register to vote in federal elections?
More Questions
Notable Quote   
 
"By so many measures, Joe Biden's presidential administration falls at the bottom of the scale. But there is one metric by which Biden is tops -- in fact, the very tops in all of history. That is the regulatory costs his administration has imposed on the nation in a single year.The American Action Forum, a conservative think tank that tracks government regulation, has tallied up what government agencies…[more]
 
 
—The Editors, Washington Examiner
— The Editors, Washington Examiner
 
Liberty Poll   

Given all the controversies, how interested are you in watching the Beijing Winter Olympics?