Thursday, March 05, 2009

Card Check

The Republican Party of Florida is attacking Joe Biden on (drum roll please) card check.

“Vice President Biden has traveled to Florida today to draw support for, the big union backed, ‘card check’ legislation. What he won’t tell workers, though, is that this bill seeks to strip American workers of their fundamental right to vote by secret ballot, subjecting workers to pressure by their employers, union organizers and colleagues by publicly signing union authorization cards,” stated Chairman Jim Greer. “The secret ballot is the foundation of American democracy and protects workers from intimidation. I am proud of Florida’s Republican elected officials, led by House Majority Leader Adam Hasner and Senator Garrett Richter who have worked hard to protect Florida’s business climate and workers by sponsoring an amendment to the Florida constitution to supersede the any federal legi slation and Save our Secret ballot.”

Wal-Mart has repeatly intimidated workers from forming unions.

Wal-Mart has responded to the union drive by trying to stop workers from organizing -- sometimes in violation of federal labor law. In 10 separate cases, the National Labor Relations Board has ruled that Wal-Mart repeatedly broke the law by interrogating workers, confiscating union literature, and firing union supporters. At the first sign of organizing in a store, Wal-Mart dispatches a team of union busters from its headquarters in Bentonville, Arkansas, sometimes setting up surveillance cameras to monitor workers. "In my 35 years in labor relations, I've never seen a company that will go to the lengths that Wal-Mart goes to, to avoid a union," says Martin Levitt, a management consultant who helped the company develop its anti-union tactics before writing a book called Confessions of a Union Buster. "They have zero tolerance."

More Wal-Mart workers are trying to form unions because they can't live on Wal-Mart's low wages. Wal-Mart worker Michael Rodriguez injured his ankle on-the-job. His supervisors locked him in the store and refused to let him leave to get medical treatment. Another Wal-Mart employee was locked-in after experiencing a heart attack. Card check (aka Employee Free Choice Act) would allow worker to vote on if they want to form a union.

The text from the bill.

(a) In General- Section 9(c) of the National Labor Relations Act (29 U.S.C. 159(c)) is amended by adding at the end the following:

`(6) Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, whenever a petition shall have been filed by an employee or group of employees or any individual or labor organization acting in their behalf alleging that a majority of employees in a unit appropriate for the purposes of collective bargaining wish to be represented by an individual or labor organization for such purposes, the Board shall investigate the petition. If the Board finds that a majority of the employees in a unit appropriate for bargaining has signed valid authorizations designating the individual or labor organization specified in the petition as their bargaining representative and that no other individual or labor organization is currently certified or recognized as the exclusive representative of any of the employees in the unit, the Board shall not direct an election but shall certify the individual or labor organization as the representative described in subsection (a).

`(7) The Board shall develop guidelines and procedures for the designation by employees of a bargaining representative in the manner described in paragraph (6). Such guidelines and procedures shall include--

`(A) model collective bargaining authorization language that may be used for purposes of making the designations described in paragraph (6); and

`(B) procedures to be used by the Board to establish the validity of signed authorizations designating bargaining representatives.'.

(b) Conforming Amendments

(1) NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS BOARD- Section 3(b) of the National Labor Relations Act (29 U.S.C. 153(b)) is amended, in the second sentence--

(A) by striking `and to' and inserting `to'; and

(B) by striking `and certify the results thereof,' and inserting `, and to issue certifications as provided for in that section,'.

(2) UNFAIR LABOR PRACTICES- Section 8(b) of the National Labor Relations Act (29 U.S.C. 158(b)) is amended--

(A) in paragraph (7)(B) by striking `, or' and inserting `or a petition has been filed under section 9(c)(6), or'; and

(B) in paragraph (7)(C) by striking `when such a petition has been filed' and inserting `when such a petition other than a petition under section 9(c)(6) has been filed'.

Attacking card check and worker rights during an economic downturn is politically tone deaf. Most people don't know or care what card check is. It is an easy sell for Barack Obama and Biden. All they have to say is the Employee Free Choice Act gives workers the right to unionize and negotiate for better pay. I don't see 500,000 people protesting in Washington against pay increases and worker rights. Jim Greer is taking a stand against union authorization cards. Obama will appoint a board to set guidelines. Knowing how politically astute he is, Obama will have card check be secret ballot. Does anyone believe Republicans will support unionize with secret ballot votes? I didn't think so.

News flash to Jim Greer: Biden is going around the country pushing card check because the White House knows it will play well and the GOP will make clumsy attacks.

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