Who picks your union?
I’ve been involved lately in a little issues advocacy regarding card-check. Card-check involves a union being able to use a card that workers sign to compel a firm to recognize the union as the sole bargaining agent of the entire shop. My first post on the subject included Congressional testimony by a former union organizer.
A “card check” campaign begins with union organizers going to the homes of workers over a weekend, a tactic called “housecalling,” with the sole intent of having those workers sign authorization cards. Called a “blitz” by the unions, it entails teams of two or more organizers going directly to the homes of workers. The workers’ personal information and home addresses used during the blitz was obtained from license plates and other sources that were used to create a master list.
In most cases, the workers have no idea that there is a union campaign underway. Organizers are taught to play upon this element of surprise to get “into the door.” They are trained to perform a five part house call strategy that includes: Introductions, Listening, Agitation, Union Solution, and Commitment. The goal of the organizer is to quickly establish a trust relationship with the worker, move from talking about what their job entails to what they would like to change about their job, agitate them by insisting that management won’t fix their workplace problems without a union and finally convincing the worker to sign a card.
…From my experience, the number of cards signed appear to have little relationship to the ultimate vote count. During a private election campaign, even though a union still sends organizers out to workers’ homes on frequent canvassing in attempts to gain support, the worker has a better chance to get perspective on the questions at hand.
Now that would seem to be enough for most people to decide we should keep private ballots, but unions have been pushing the Orwellian-named Employee Free Choice Act, which would make card-check the law of the land. (Employers could agree to recognize a union on the basis of cards now if they choose, but are not compelled.) So the group organized in Minnesota, of which I am chair of its steering committee, started running news ads. This sufficiently infuriated the local Democratic leadership that they filed a complaint with the Minnesota elections board accusing the two groups and me personally. Yesterday, that suit was thrown out. They may refile the complaint against us; we’ll see.
The point remains that a major push for Democratic candidates this year is coming from gobs of union cash — some of it compelled under threat of financial penalties from their locals — and their top goal is to eviscerate the rights of workers to have a secret ballot by which they can decide whether they want to be represented by a union. They don’t like the heat from Johnny Sac calling them out for what they’re doing. For more, read here.