Missourinet reports that Sen. Claire McCaskill,in a July 8 conference call with Missouri radio reporters, expressed her support for Big Labor’s “card check” bill (misnamed the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA)), and belittled a 10,000 postcard petition (containing over 40,000 signatures) opposing that law.
EFCA would eliminate elections by secret ballot concerning union representation, and allow a union to be certified by merely filing signed consents from a majority of employees. Such consents would be solicited by union organizers who would be in a position to compel workers to sign or refuse in their presence. Opponents of the bill believe that workers who oppose joining a union would be intimidated into signing. Ironically, that is exactly what bill supporters hope will happen.
More interesting than McCaskill’s support for the bill was the contemptuous manner in which she dismissed opponents concern. She started with a classic “straw man” strategy, by grossly exaggerating concerns. McCaskill told the reporters, “I think that this notion that thugs are going to go out and slash people’s tires in order to get them to check a card is ludicrous and insulting to working people. That’s not going to happen.” No one said it would, Claire. Just having the union boss, someone who could influence your job assignments, watching you respond to his request is all the intimidation necessary. But that’s too much. That’s why we have secret ballots.
But McCaskill went on to acknowledge that her exaggerations had actually taken place, dismissing them as “literally a handful of instances where there has been any kind of allegation that has been proven in that regard in the last 20 years.” Well, exactly how many instances of proven tire slashing to get a worker to sign the union card is acceptable to Claire? Isn’t once too often? And wouldn’t the number be greater if these things weren’t so hard to “prove”? If one had sustained vandalism over such a thing, wouldn’t proving it be, well, life threatening?
That’s why we have secret ballots.