One the favorite pastimes for politicians in Washington seems to be brainstorming warm and fuzzy names to slap on pieces of legislation so they are easier for the public to digest. Take the “Employee Free Choice Act,” for example. While the name implies sunshine and lollipops, the bill would actually take away workers’ right to secret ballot elections regarding workplace unionization. That’s hardly sounds like “free choice” to me.
We’ve been critical of the bill here at IWF, primarily because we think secret ballots are an integral part of America’s democratic traditions and that removing that protection would open the floodgates for bullying people into voting to support unionization. Over at the Orlando Sentinel, Rick Berman points to another potential outcome of the legislation: it would lead to a constant stream of negative campaigning against unions by companies. And who could blame them? Under the proposed rule changes, small companies could be blindsided by unions overnight, without a proper chance to present their side of the argument. So they would have the incentive to preemptively present their case against unionization. I doubt the unions who are trying to push this legislation through would like that. And as for workers, I don’t think there is any doubt that they are better off with a proper election where they could carefully weigh both options and be shielded from bullying by a secret ballot process.