« BACK  |  PRINT

RS

MEMBER DIARY

Bob Casey Better Read Card Check

Shouldn't a Senator Know What He's Sponsoring?

If he actually read the bill, he might avoid embarrassing mistakes like this one:

Area Democrats in Congress, including moderate “Blue Dog” U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy, D-8th, of Bucks, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties, all support legislation that would eliminate secret-ballot elections for many workforces considering unionization.

Every Democratic member of the House of Representatives in the Philadelphia area, as well as U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, support the legislation, known as the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) or “card-check.” If passed, the bill will replace many secret-ballot votes to decide whether to unionize with a process wherein labor organizers approach employees directly asking them to sign cards indicating they support joining a union…

Mr. Casey said the legislation would make a welcome change to current labor policy because card-check would expedite the unionization process. He also said the potential for secret-ballot elections would still exist after EFCA, even if they become less common.

“A secret ballot would still be available,” he said. “If workers prefer to use majority sign up, they could do that as well.”

Here is the text of the Card Check bill Senator Casey has elected to cosponsor:

whenever a petition shall have been filed by an employee or group of employees… alleging that a majority of employees in a unit appropriate for the purposes of collective bargaining wish to be represented by an individual or labor organization… the Board shall investigate the petition. If the Board finds that a majority of the employees in a unit appropriate for bargaining has signed valid authorizations designating the individual or labor organization specified in the petition as their bargaining representative… the Board shall not direct an election but shall certify the individual or labor organization

Under Casey’s bill, in any instance where a majority of workers signs cards, the union is organized without an election. And note that the individual workers have no say in the process once they have signed their cards; they can’t sign a card and scribble in ‘but I want a secret ballot election.’ That right vanishes once a majority of all workers sign.

Therefore, the only way that a given workforce can force a secret ballot election is if a majority of them gets together and decides to withhold their signatures. If a majority does not sign, a vote is required. So Casey is either ignorant or lying when he implies that Card Check offers a route for secret ballots. That would only come if a majority of workers refuses to abide by the process laid out in Card Check.

If Casey is genuinely ignorant of this, it may just be because he’s watching too much MSNBC:

Hopefully he and Rachel Maddo can put their heads together and figure this out. It’s not really all that complex.

Get Alerts