As America Votes, Obama Angling to Take Vote Away From Workers

As Americans prepare to head to the polls to exercise their right to a secret ballot on election day, the Obama administration is poised to roll back that right in the workplace. By Obama’s orders, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) is looking over a policy change that would undermine the protections for a worker’s right to a secret ballot vote in union elections in the workplace.

This elimination of a secret ballot is one of the policy changes that Big Labor has been pushing for several years now and is a chief component of the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) — better known as card check — a policy that Big Labor has been desperate to force Congress to pass.

Card Check would take away the right that workers have to a secret ballot when considering whether or not a union will be awarded representation at the workplace. This elimination of the secret ballot would leave workers open to the intimidation of union operatives who would be able to identify precisely which worker does and which worker does not support them. The secret ballot is one of the oldest, democratic rights in free and fair elections but unions want this right summarily taken away by federal order.

The EFCA has met strong opposition from voters and the business community alike and has yet to garner enough support in Congress to pass. Because Big Labor has been stymied in Congress they have been pressuring the Obama administration to pass defacto EFCA policies by changing the rules governing business and labor. Obama has agreed to give Big Labor this payoff for the millions they’ve given him in campaign donations and he’s directed his boards and departments that govern labor relations to change policies in order to pass the EFCA by fiat.

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The newest attempt to implement a stealth passage of the EFCA comes in Obama’s attempt to undermine the protections afforded workers and business in the 2007 “Dana” case with the case Lamons Gasket Company, 355 NLRB 157 (2010).

The NLRB is considering rolling back certain guarantees as set down in the 2007 Board decision Dana Corp, 351 NLRB 434. In this decision, employers were given a guarantee of 45 days to file for a secret ballot for its workers considering representation. If this rule is eliminated, workers could be denied the right to a secret ballot for a year or more during the election process.

The Coalition for a Democratic Work Place (CDW) has filed an Amicus Brief to urge the Obama administration not to change these rules. In a statement CDW says, “Dana’s 45 day notice period provides a narrow but necessary window for employees to test the majority status of a union recognized through card check.”

“Any effort by the Board to eliminate the 45-day election period is simply an attack on secret ballot elections and true employee free choice,” said Brian Worth, chairman of CDW. “Polling has repeatedly shown that American voters–including union households–strongly oppose card check, EFCA and attempts to circumvent the secret ballot.”

CDW has gathered the signatures of a wide cross section of business and industry supporters representing millions of small business across the country. More than 225 business groups have joined CDW to oppose Obama’s stealth implementation of the EFCA.

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