Big Labor’s bosses sort of got lost in recent months amid the hubbub about Obamacare and, more recently, reforming Wall Street, but they’re still out there, actively lobbying their Democrat friends in Congress and the White House, and pushing their agenda. That’s why it is never smart politics to forget about things like the laughably misnamed Employee Free Choice Act — aka Card Check — because just when it looks like the bosses’ top legislative priority is dead, it’s not.
AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka provided a perfect illustration of this die-hard mentality earlier this week when he made clear that the union proposal to kill secret ballots in workplace-representation elections is far from dead. After the Democrats took over Congress in 2006 and President Barack Obama was elected in 2008, Trumka and his union buddies thought a Card Check victory would be a snap. The proposal passed the House, but public support began slipping and the bill stalled in the Senate, short of the 60 votes needed to get it to a final vote. Trumka frankly admitted as much this week, telling The Hill, “I don’t know when we ever had 60 votes.” Then in January, when Sen. Scott Brown, R-Mass., won the U.S. Senate seat long occupied by Ted Kennedy, union prospects for getting those 60 votes went from slim to none.
But Trumka and Big Labor aren’t giving up, they’re just switching strategies. The new plan is to attach Card Check to another must-pass bill before the November elections, which look likely to send legions of new Republicans to Washington, D.C., who will vote against the proposal. Thus, Trumka told The Hill, “Anything we can get it attached to, there are multitudes of things we can get it attached to, and we will. We will get it done and it will be a good thing for the country.”
No, passage of Card Check would benefit only union bosses like Trumka, who heads an organization that once stood atop a labor movement that represented one of every three American workers. But today, only 7 percent of all private sector employees belong to unions. That’s why the labor bosses are determined to stamp out secret ballots in the workplace when employees vote on whether to join a union. It’s so much easier for union thugs to intimidate employees when everybody knows how everybody else is voting.