Labor Pains: Because Being in a Union can be Painful

Chicago Tribune Editorializes Against EFCA

Adding to the series of shaming public denouncements — though union bosses apparently lack any sense of shame — a Chicago Tribune editorial this morning weighed in against the so-called Employee Free Choice Act. The bill would essentially do away with secret ballot elections for employees deciding whether to join a union. Instead, it would institute “card check,” which is open to intimidation, harassment, and misinformation.

Of course, union bosses claim that they need to burn the current labor-law system in order to save it from its flaws. But, as the Tribune notes:

But you don’t remedy intimidation of one kind by replacing it with intimidation of a different sort. Under the card-check system, workers in effect are forced to state their positions publicly, inviting ostracism (or worse) if they refuse to go along with the union. A secret-ballot election allows the employee to make an uncoerced choice, and it should be preserved. Otherwise, unions may gain the right to represent workers who mostly would rather not join.

Just to be clear, the paper also takes union leaders to task for their own record of failure – the real reason union membership numbers are down so drastically:

There are reasons why only 7 percent of private-sector workers now belong to unions, down from 35 percent half a century ago. Union wages and work rules can make a company uncompetitive, as big automakers and big steelmakers have shown. Many workers realize that the embrace of the AFL-CIO is cold comfort if your employer moves production overseas, which a union’s arrival may make more likely.

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