Secret Ballot Protection Wins Big in Four States

Is card check dead? Not completely, but if the recent votes on various state ballot initiatives of four states is any indication it sure seems to be on its last legs.

Little noticed by the Old Media, the ballot initiatives of these four states is an important bellwether of how little support Big Labor’s favorite law will have going forward. On November 2 four states voted by great margins to protect the secret ballot and these reasserted protections would tend to deliver a blow to one of the Democrat’s important provisions of card check, a provision that would eliminate the secret ballot for prospective union members.

Card check is one of the main parts of Big Labor’s Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA). The provision would eliminate a secret ballot for prospective union members as they decide on representation. Under the EFCA, votes for union representation would be an open issue. Every employee’s vote would be clearly known by all involved. This open voting (or the public checking of a vote card or ballot) would clearly leave employees open for harassment by union officials who would be fully aware of each employees individual votes, if they voted for or against the union. For that matter, even the employer would have knowledge of who voted for what under the EFCA.

But these ballot initiatives seem to bode ill will for card check. The Wall Street Journal reports the lopsided support for secret ballot protections (Subscription required).

Four states — Arizona, South Carolina, South Dakota and Utah — voted on “save our secret ballot” measures that would require secret elections and effectively outlaw card check as a means to certify a union. In Arizona and Utah the measures passed with 60% of the vote. In South Dakota the margin of victory was 79% and in South Carolina it was 86%.

Democrats are still telling Big Labor that they intend to push the EFCA to the floor for a vote and are promising that they’ll do so in the upcoming lame duck (or zombie) session of congress. But if they do, they seem destined to lose the issue. The prevailing winds among the voters is running against the EFCA.

This won’t stop President Obama from trying to push through a stealth card check by altering federal labor regulations, though. Members of his administration have already made noises that they would like to do this.

Still, as each month passes the EFCA looks like it has less support all the time.

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