"What you are seeing is an unprecedented effort by organized labor to overturn years of labor law," said Ringwood, a lobbyist for Associated Builders and Contractors. Like most business officials, she argued that removing the secret ballot would diminish workers' rights.
"This is moving very quickly and people are concerned that the rights of employees would be taken away."
By signing a union card workers are already expressing their support for a union, one must wonder at this point why a secret ballot election should be required after a majority of employees have already shown their support for a union. The answer of course is that oftentimes unions fail upon a secret ballot election. But this isnt because desire for a union is any less strong, but rather because employers threaten workers and run dishonest campaigns against the union. Further, as I pointed out a year ago, NLRB regulations against campaigns that intimidate workers are inneffective.
In 1997, the United Food and Commercial Workers Union lost a unionization election at the sprawling plant, built in this rural town 75 miles south of Raleigh. But it was not until 2004 that the National Labor Relations Board upheld an administrative law judge's decision that threw out the election results.
Seven years that workers in the North Carolina Factory I referred to in that post were without a union while waiting for the NLRB to rule on what was obvious. In that case workers were getting paid a full $3 an hour less than their unionized counterparts, the company may well be saving more than enough in reduced labor costs without a union to afford NLRB punishments after a 7 year wait. As I said at the time:
Seven years to finaly rule that the company violated the workers rights to a fair vote for a union. Seven years that the company was allowed to continue abusing its workers and for which the workers had no recourse of a union. Even after the ruling, organizers fear that the company would continue to act in the same way, intimidating workers so that they still would be unable to get a fair vote. If a new vote were held today and the company engaged in the same tactics and the vote had the same result, it would take another seven years to get the same ruling from the NLRB. Another 7 years for which employees would have no way to defend themselves against company abuses.
Go back and read that original post in which I quoted a fair share of a New York Times article on the subject, it was very disturbing. Its cases like these that show why we absolutely need EFCA, because these "confidential votes" are oftentimes anything but fair and are merely a means for employers who want to prevent a union to intimidate their employees to prevent them from voting for one. As to questions of whether its going to pass, I think it will, the bill is almost certainly going to pass the House as it has 230 cosponsors, both Democrats and Republicans. It has such broad support in the Democratic caucus, and has support of some of the most conservative Democrats out there that I see no possible way that it doesnt have the votes to pass the Senate, I would expect Collins, Snowe, and Specter to support it as well. Given the fact that it seems to have some reasonable Republican support and even has several Republican cosponsors, there might be enough votes there for an override if Bush vetos this. In short, I'm very optimistic about this bill. I guess the question on a veto override is whether there is any support from faux moderates like Gordo for the bill, if there is then any Bush veto will be overridden.