Labor Pains: Because Being in a Union can be Painful

Media Matters “Falsely” Claims Editorial “Falsely” Claims Bill Would Have Forced Organizing of Employees

Thank God for the Internet, where there’s as much vitriol as there is stupidity. Media Matters — no fan of ours, to be sure — is a cornerstone of the anti-corporate set’s message machine. That’s fine. But sometimes they let their passion outpace their prose. This week, Media Matters’ Colorado outpost took aim at a great editorial we highlighted from The Pueblo Chieftain, which blasted union bosses’ various attempts to force people into more unions by taking away secret ballots. Unfortunately, Media Matters decided to avoid fighting on the plane of ideas and resorted to saying that the Chieftain editorial falsely claimed vetoed bill would have ‘[made] it easier for Big Labor to force organization of employees.'”

Oh, Media Matters. Fighting over what the meaning of “is” is.

Here’s the skinny: Colorado’s Democratic governor recently vetoed a bill that would have ended a secret ballot vote to force a union shop clause on a firm’s employees. If signed, the law would have eliminated the right to vote on whether everyone has to pay for the union’s representation, either in the form of membership dues or agency fees (which employees who refuse to join the union would be made to pay).

Instead, Media Matters says the editorial “falsely” said the bill would make it easier to “force organization of employees.” The only way you could possibly use the word “falsely” is if you believed “organization of employees” means full union membership. Of course most people would agree that forcing more employees to pay for union services qualifies under the paper’s statement.

Maybe Media Matters ought to stop splitting hairs and start focusing on peoples’ rights not to have union fees forced on them. That matters. Normally I’d say someone is quibbling too much. In this case, I’ll say Media Matters is “falsely” informing the public.

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