George of Pennsylvania AFL-CIO Doesn’t Get EFCA… or Does He?

Warner Todd Huston | February 22, 2009 

-By Warner Todd Huston

In a recent issue of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, a story on the delicate political spot occupied by Senator Arlen Specter was discussed showing that he has worked himself into a can’t win for loosing situation. He’s made both sides mad with his erratic stance on both sides of the political fence.

But one quote by Bill George the head of the Penn. AFL-CIO was telling about how unions view the Employee Free Choice Act. At least in George’s case, he proves to either have no clue what’s in the EFCA, or he knows all too well and is willing to obfuscate just to get it passed.

Here is George’s quote:

“Arlen Specter will not be our candidate in 2010 if he doesn’t support an opportunity for Americans to have free elections in the workplace,” said Bill George, president of the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO, who added if Mr. Specter wins his union’s endorsement he expects a lot of labor members to cross over in the Republican primary to vote for him.

The curious thing is that George is warning Senator Specter that if he votes against the EFCA that vote will in essence deny workers from having “free elections in the workplace.” Unfortunately for George’s understanding of the EFCA, a yes vote on this odious act will do far more to eliminate the worker’s right to vote than a no vote will.

The EFCA has an important feature called “card check.” This feature takes away from workers the centuries old democratic right of the secret ballot. Workers will have to openly declare their vote for or against a union by signing a public card so that everyone, workers, union bosses and employer, knows what each and every worker voted for.

This leaves every worker open to specifically targeted pressure to vote one way or another. This also leaves the worker open to union intimidation and makes a conscience driven “no” vote much less likely than a fearfully issued “yes” vote.

So, Mr. George claims he wants proper and free elections in the workplace and wants Specter to vote for the EFCA, but the EFCA actually makes free and fair elections in the workplace far less likely, not more likely.

In the end we have to wonder if Mr. George understands this legislation? If he does, then he is obfuscating the truth just to get this undemocratic bill passed. If he doesn’t… well, if he doesn’t he is not doing a very good job representing his fellows, now is he?

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