07.01.2008 0

Vetoing Forced Unionism

  • On: 07/20/2008 17:05:04
  • In: Big Labor
  • A bill that would have eliminated secret ballot elections when Big Labor demands push-button unionism has been vetoed by Hawaii’s Governor, Linda Lingle, Hawaii’s first Republican governor since 1962.

    The bill would have implemented a dangerous “card check” system that would have made the Hawaiian workplace a union-controlled caliphate where free and fair elections are a thing of the past:

    “HB2974 HD2, commonly referred to as the ‘card check’ bill, would change the union certification process by eliminating the secret ballot election and mandate timeliness for facilitating the initial collective bargaining agreement between an employer and the new collective bargaining representative.

    “Under current law, a secret ballot process is used to determine whether a majority of employees desire collective representation. This process provides employees anonymity and the opportunity to consider and weigh individual choices after having had the time to be fully informed by both the labor organization and employer of the advantages and disadvantages of being collectively represented.

    “This bill replaces that process with one in which organizers would only need to gather signatures from a majority of employees indicating they were in favor of forming a union. The bill does not specify how or when signatures can be obtained and, as a result, there is no way to determine whether a worker’s signature was given freely, without pressure, coercion or intimidation from fellow employees or labor representatives.”

    In other words, the bill would have allowed union organizers to go door-to-door, using whatever coercion and intimidation they deemed necessary to get workers to sign up for the union. Under a system like that, some workers might not even know that a union was being organized until after the fact, since all that is necessary to organize is a majority of the workers. And many who did know would have had to sing along with the Sopranos in order to protect their jobs – and lives.

    Governor Lingle opposed this special interest sellout because, she said:

    “’I support the rights of workers to form or join labor organizations and have collective bargaining representation, but this bill would deny workers their privacy and right to a confidential vote when making that decision… Maintaining the secret ballot is the best way to protect workers’ privacy and to ensure workers have the ability to vote their conscience without fear of repercussion or retaliation. There is no compelling justification for replacing a fair, democratic process with one that has the potential to erode a worker’s existing rights and protections under the law.’”

    In Hawaii, aloha means everything from “hello” to “goodbye.” And if the Governor’s veto is overridden by the Legislature, it could mean aloha to union intimidation, and aloha to secret ballots, respectively.

    ALG Perspective:
    ALG News hopes that her veto will be sustained. Union interests throughout the nation are attempting to crush secret union ballots to more “efficiently” organize themselves utilizing fascistic bullying to get their way. Governor Lingle deserves a lot of praise for standing up against this sort of intimidation. And the working people of Hawaii deserve to retain the single most respected symbol of free elections: the secret ballot.

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