Monday, September 6, 2010

Obama Administration Calls Unions a Human Right in U.N. Report and Refers to 'Card Check' Legislation

Among the tidbits buried in the first Universal Periodic Review (UPR) report of U.S. Human Rights issues was the section excerpted (starting on page 6) below. The Obama administration has declared unionization a human right and indirectly equated it to freedom of speech, freedom of religion and other normal human rights.
23. Freedom of association also protects workers and their right to organize. The labor movement in the United States has a rich history, and the right to organize and bargain collectively under the protection of the law is the bedrock upon which workers are able to form or join a labor union. Workers regularly use legal mechanisms to address complaints such as threats, discharges, interrogations, surveillance, and wages-and-benefits cuts for supporting a union. These legal regimes are continuously assessed and evolving in order to keep pace with a modern work environment. Our UPR consultations included workers from a variety of sectors, including domestic workers who spoke about the challenges they face in organizing effectively. Currently there are several bills in our Congress that seek to strengthen workers’ rights—ensuring that workers can continue to associate freely, organize, and practice collective bargaining as the U.S. economy continues to change. (emphasis mine)

Making it very easy for unions to organize workers is now a stated U.S human Rights goal. The primary bill among the 'several bills' the Obama administration is referring to is the ironically named Employee Free Choice Act which is commonly called 'Card Check.' This bill does away with secret ballot elections for unionization. When a union gets over 50% cards signed, they have won. There is no election. Supporters of the bill claim it still allows an election to be called when 30% have signed cards (same as current law), but only the union doing the organizing can petition for an election. Anti-union workers and businesses don't have that right. Unions normally don't call elections now until they have at least 60% cards signed because many people will sign a card, but vote no during the secret ballot election. Unionization elections will be a thing of the past if this bill passes. 'Card Check' has already passed the House and is pending in the Senate. Shamefully, stripping workers of their right to a secret ballot vote is now a stated U.S. Human rights goal.

If you wonder why 'card check' is bad, let progressive and labor supporter George McGovern explain the issue to you.

George McGovern on the Employee Free Choice Act (video)


Bluegrass Pundit said...

Look for the EFCA to rear it's ugly head in a lame duck session after November 2.

RebeccaH said...

Next item on the agenda: painting the Washington Monument red and sticking a hammer and sickle on the top.