Labor Pains: Because Being in a Union can be Painful

“Have Congressmen Miller and Kennedy and their fellow supporters not read about Labor’s corporate campaigns?”

 We recently told you about a speech by former National Labor Relations Board member John Raudabaugh, who warned a Federalist Society lunch audience about the misnamed “Employee Free Choice Act.” We got hold of his prepared statement, and it’s worth sharing as Senator Edward Kennedy tries to follow Congressman George Miller’s feat of pushing EFCA through the House of Representatives.

But as Raudabaugh asks:

Has no one heard or read about Labor’s violations during these same organizing and contract negotiations periods? Have Congressmen Miller and Kennedy and their fellow supporters not read about Labor’s corporate campaigns? As an example, the Labor Board recently required a union to post a single-spaced, four page “Notice to Employees and Members” regarding its corporate campaign (organizing and bargaining) activities, the first paragraph of which reads:

WE WILL NOT brandish or carry any weapon of any kind, including, but not limited to, guns, knives, slingshots, rocks, ball bearings, liquid-filled balloons or other projectiles, sledge hammers, bricks, sticks, or two by fours at or near any picket line, handbilling effort, rally or in any vehicle engaged in ambulatory picketing…or following the private vehicle of any…employee.

The ninth paragraph of the same Notice is instructive too:

WE WILL NOT threaten to kill or inflict bodily harm, make throat slashing motions, make gun pointing motions, challenge or threaten to fight or assault employees, threaten to sexually assault non-striking employees or their family members, threaten to follow non-striking employees to their homes, use racial epithets or obscene gestures at non-striking employees….

I don’t know whether Miller or Kennedy have heard about his, but it’s time more people do. Read the whole thing by downloading it here. But one more quick excerpt:

To make a “free” “choice”, you must be (1) informed to enable a choice and (2) you must be able to register that choice free of any pressure. Labor’s bill – the so-called “Employee Free Choice Act” – eliminates both critical elements. Card-check campaigns are, more often than not, conducted by stealth for the purpose of not attracting attention that would prompt counter-information. Labor’s card-check is not like a Labor Board secret-ballot – the union card-check solicits a “YES” only decision. And, signing a card in front of a union organizer where the only choice is “YES”, even without overt inducements, threats, or coercion, is not without peer pressure.

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