2008/12/08:Let Workers Keep Secret Ballots - South Central Federation of Labor

Let Workers Keep Secret Ballots
Wisconsin State Journal :: OPINION :: A10
Monday, December 8, 2008

I question the Wisconsin State Journal's Monday editorial on the Employee Free Choice Act - legislation giving workers a fair and direct path to form unions.

First, the bill does not eliminate the current union election process or take away the secret ballot. It simply puts the choice of how workers form unions in workers' hands, not those of big corporations.

Workers can form a union once a majority of employees in a workplace sign cards indicating they want to form a union, or they can still choose to have a secret ballot election.

The numerous flaws in the current union election system justify the need for reform. Employers plaster the workplace with anti-union leaflets, while banning employees from doing the same. Supervisors take workers aside for intimidating one-on-one meetings.

Perhaps most egregious, 25 percent of employers faced with organizing efforts fire workers for their support of a union. This has to stop.

That's why we need the Employee Free Choice Act. It will give the 60 million workers who want to join a union a reasonable shot, so they can earn better wages, have access to health care, protect their job security, and achieve the American dream.

- Jim Cavanaugh, president, South Central Federation of Labor, Madison