Unions Tout “Free Choice,” Except for Employers
October 1, 2008
Washington, DC--If Democrats gain control of Congress this November, they are likely to enact some version of the so-called Employee Free Choice Act, which would revamp the way employees choose whether to endorse a labor union. Under current law, employees vote anonymously. But under the new scheme, they would vote with signed cards, open to union inspection, showing each employee’s name and vote.
“Even by Washington standards, this proposal is high hypocrisy,” said Thomas Bowden, an analyst at the Ayn Rand Center for Individual Rights. “This misnamed law claims to promote free choice for employees, but where’s the freedom for employers? Companies are forced by law to recognize and bargain with any union approved by a majority of employees--no choice allowed. Why is nobody speaking up for their rights?
“In a free society, the law would recognize the absolute right of companies and employees to deal with each other on an entirely voluntary basis. That means an employer would be free to bargain with workers individually, or through a union, as the parties’ economic self-interest dictates.
“Opponents of the proposed law fear, with good reason, that unions would intimidate anti-union workers into casting pro-union votes. But such problems arise only when government grants unions special privileges. In an unregulated labor market, if union promoters resorted to intimidation, a company would boot them from the premises, just as it would any employee, vendor, or visitor who introduced threats or violence to the workplace.
“The Employee Free Choice Act, if enacted, will obviously allow unions to target employees who can be pressured into voting yes. But the proper response to this transparent scheme is not merely to reject it, but to begin repealing the various labor laws that deny free choice in bargaining.”
Mr. Bowden is an analyst at the Ayn Rand Center for Individual Rights, focusing on legal issues. A former lawyer and law school instructor, who practiced for twenty years in Baltimore, Maryland, his op-eds have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, Philadelphia Inquirer, Miami Herald, Los Angeles Daily News, and many other newspapers. Mr. Bowden has given dozens of radio interviews and has appeared on Fox News Channel’s Hannity & Colmes.
Thomas Bowden and other Ayn Rand Center experts are available for interviews on this topic.
Contact: Larry Benson
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