Take a look at an article that appeared in today's Los Angeles Times regarding Card Check. While by no means is the fight against this awful legislation over, it is very refreshing and encouraging to see reports that the work that we and our partners have put into defeating it is working.
Defeat of Card Check - while the union leaders paint it differently, of course - would be a victory for America. Ultimately, the deciding factor in support for Card Check seems to be that enough elected leaders thankfully feel that taking away secret ballot in ANY form is a bad thing. We know how government works - one thing leads to another. It's a good thing that enough of our reps are not willing to start that ball rolling.
Of course, now come the compromise proposals. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is reporting that a number of "options" have been floated:
Quickie elections - Would preserve the use of the secret ballot process, but on a compressed time frame. This would put the employer at a disadvantage in communicating with employees, even though unions will have had weeks and months to do the same during the drive to get cards signed.
Mail-in voting - Would have workers send in their ballots by mail. However, because unions are legally permitted to visit workers' homes, they could pressure workers to sign and mail the ballots in front of them, taking away any private vote. In addition, such organizing activity could be conducted without the employer ever knowing that a union campaign was going on.
Union access provisions - Would require employers who call meetings with their employees to discuss unionization to give unions equal access to their employees - on company time and on company premises. Unions already enjoy the opportunity to meet with employees in a wide array of locations, including their homes (employers must provide the unions with employees' addresses) in ways that the employer is prohibited, and have no restrictions on what they can say as employers do. Obviously, this would be disruptive to business operations and expose workers to harassment, particularly since pro-union employees would be able to approach coworkers on the issue during the workday.
Baseball-style arbitration - Refers to a form of binding arbitration used to settle contract disputes in baseball: both sides present their best offers and the arbitrator picks one or the other with the hope that both sides would present proposals that are most likely to be picked, rather than including provisions which have no chance being accepted. However, the baseball analogy is a misrepresentation - arbitration in professional baseball is mutually agreed to by contract; this proposal would use the force of federal law to require businesses to submit to government arbitration. Like the current Card Check, this undermines the fundamental concept of collective bargaining and the ability of employers and employees to have a hand in shaping the contract under which they will operate.
So, in other words, we need to keep up the fight because none of these options are acceptable. Actually, from one perspective, the fight becomes even tougher because to suggest compromises, you need to come up with a better argument than "we need more unions" (the standard defense of Card Check). So I would expect the national debate on labor issues to pick up. We're ready. We know that taking away secret ballot no matter how you try to mask it and the government forcing its influence into decisions that should be made by employers and employees are un-American and would put both employers and employees at a competitive disadvantage.