As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Friday, March 20, 2009

Quoting the Wall Street Journal Editorial Page For The First Time

Big thanks to The Wall Street Journal editorial board for admitting, after years and years, that the Employee Free Choice Act does not eliminate the secret ballot:

The bill doesn't remove the secret-ballot option from the National Labor Relations Act but in practice makes it a dead letter. The bill allows a union to automatically organize a worksite if more than 50% of workers simply sign an authorization card, so pressure for employees to sign in public view would be enormous. The legislation also imposes a contract through binding arbitration if labor and management reach a stalemate.

The rest of it is untrue, but they are accurate in one respect - the bill doesn't remove the secret ballot from the National Labor Relations Act. In fact, what the WSJ doesn't tell you is that employees can call for a secret ballot election if 30% of them request one. Therefore, the rights of the minority in the workplace are protected and the secret ballot is in no way eliminated.

The editorial has some other missteps, like quoting a National Labor Relations Board study from 2005 (which has an interest in preserving the status quo) instead of the voluminous research showing firings and intimidation of organizers by management before elections. But you have to appreciate them finally giving up the number one talking point on the right. Expect this line to be used in lots of pro-Employee Free Choice Act materials.

This doesn't presume safe passage, of course. Arlen Specter is being pulled in so many directions, as the most important swing vote on the matter, that he could absolutely flip, and there are plenty of squishy moderate Democrats who want no part of the law. They are only betraying their constituents, of course. And now that the most dishonest rhetoric from the right has been neutered, perhaps they will have no recourse as well.

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