Labor Pains: Because Being in a Union can be Painful

A Letter on Democracy

To the editor of the Seattle Times:

When union representatives approach a worker and ask, “You wanna sign the union card, don’tcha pally?” it takes a lot of courage to say “no.” Only a secret ballot, as current law provides, gives a worker a truly free choice.

Sen. Murray says “the Republicans walked away” — but from what? They walked away from labor-union coercion, to preserve free choice, not to take it away.

UPDATE: Well, this will teach me to blog too quickly. The page I linked to contains several letters blasting the bill that would eliminate secret ballots.  Other quotables:

  • “I’ve nothing against unions, and was once a proud member of the Newspaper Guild, but what does removing the sanctity of the secret ballot have to do with protecting democracy, or the rights of workers?”
  • “Blocking this bill in no way stops workers from organizing unions, it just stops the intimidation of workers who don’t want a union.”
  • “I don’t commend today’s Republicans for much, but for preventing passage of the so-called “Employee Free Choice Act,” all freedom-loving citizens should thank them.”