In Stratham, New Hampshire this weekend, Representative Carol Shea-Porter was asked if she believes that workers have the right to a secret ballot on whether or not their workplace is unionized. Her support for the EFCA and card check voting gives a pretty clear hint that she doesn’t. Shea-Porter said this:
… it would also be helpful to go to Educational Labor and look up the committee hearings to find out why they asked for those votes. And I’ll also point out that when you go to town halls here in New Hampshire, we stand up and we count our votes, and there’s a reason that we do that. We have this open… this is not the same as the kind of election for a political office, alright, this is a whole different set of rules here. So, I like our town halls and the way that our town governments function, where people discuss issues in public and vote in public, and I support that.
I think after all I heard, about the difficulty that they have had, that men and women who want to form unions have had, and it’s all on record, so that’s why I recommend you look at that, you realize that for their best protection for all of the workers, it’s good for them to be in, to stand together. And that’s the whole concept of the union anyway: gathering together and working together.
Her answer is meandering, confusing, and well, confused. First of all, a workplace is not a town hall meeting. At town hall meetings, citizens who have chosen to live in a certain district get together to talk about legislative issues and the town budget. After a town hall meeting, it’s uncommon for people from out of town – and not just individuals, but powerful organizations, to come around and influence, intimidate, and coerce the people who are voting on a resolution.
Also, most people don’t earn their living at town hall meetings, and the results of town hall meetings rarely change the fundamental relationship between a citizen and his employer.
For some reason, all these differences evade Representative Shea-Porter. Perhaps the $260,000 dollars her campaign has received from labor leadership PACs and labor unions have made them easier to ignore.