Labor Pains: Because Being in a Union can be Painful

Some Common Sense in Minnesota

Minnesota, for one reason or another, has quickly become the epicenter of the debate about the deceptively-named Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA).

Earlier this summer, the Minnesota Democratic Farmer Labor party (DFL) Chairman called us liars for suggesting that the bill would eliminate secret ballot elections in workplace unionization elections. We, in turn, challenged him to a public debate on the issue. His response was to file a frivolous lawsuit against us. He lost.

At the center of the debate, was a poorly-informed “Fact Check” segment on WCCO examining the Coalition for a Democratic Workplace’s ad against Al Franken. The DFL and labor unions jumped on the segment, as if WCCO was equivalent to the National Labor Relations Board in interpreting labor law.

Since then, the judge in the DFL’s lawsuit, Democratic Senator George McGovern, the Wall Street Journal, and many, many more have all come out against EFCA’s elimination of secret ballots.

Even the WCCO reporter told a Minnesota media critic that he agrees that the “practical effect” of EFCA is to eliminate secret ballots (why he didn’t include that in his segment, I don’t know).

And now you can add to that long list the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, the largest newspaper in Minnesota. Today they editorialized against EFCA, writing:

Its provision allowing unions to bypass a secret ballot with something called a card check is a serious problem. Under the proposed law, unions could bypass a secret ballot if 50 percent of eligible employees signed an authorization form to form a union. It doesn’t make sense: Would you pass a school levy or elect a mayor this way? The proposed card-check system also would invite peer-pressure from union sympathizers and, by making a supporter’s name public, it has the potential to heighten the risk of employer retaliation.

On a personal note, I was born and raised in Minnesota, and I still care a great deal about what happens in the state. That’s why I was so disappointed to see the DFL and others try so hard to pull the wool over the eyes of Minnesotans. I truly hope that the Star-Tribune editorial will wake up Minnesotans to the threats posed by EFCA.

As for Brian Melendez, we’re still waiting for your response to our debate challenge.

Categories: Center for Union FactsEFACEnding Secret BallotsMinnesotans for Employee Freedom