By Fred Wszolek
The Arizona District Court’s decision dismissing the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) challenge to that state’s constitutional amendment guaranteeing the secret ballot in union elections is a welcome rebuke of the continued overreach by government bureaucrats. Arizona’s amendment is not inconsistent with federal law as alleged by the hyper-partisan NLRB and its acting general counsel. Federal law already guarantees the secret ballot. While card check is permitted by federal law, it is not required and employers can refuse to recognize a union based on cards and demand a secret ballot, which ensures the voice of workers is heard free from bullying and undue influence.
Union bosses want card check because they win more elections with cards than they do with secret ballots. That is not surprising. A card check subjects an employee’s vote to the scrutiny of third parties and peer pressure – even coercion. In addition, cards are often collected in secret without the knowledge of the employer. As a result, the only story the employees hear is the union story and there are few legal restrictions on what labor bosses can promise employees. This makes it more difficult for workers to cast an informed vote free from intimidation.
The debate over card check and the secret ballot should be resolved by Congress with passage of the Secret Ballot Protection Act. This legislation protects employees’ rights by ending the use of questionable card checks. We at the Workforce Fairness Institute strongly support it.