Friday, March 13, 2009

McHugh Supports Union Intimidation & Ending Secret Ballots?

I recently learned that Congressman McHugh is one of only 3 Republicans on the federal level who supports Obama's anti-union, card-check legislation.  All I can say is "WOW!?!?!"  We thought we could give McHugh, the porker, a pass when he was one of only 16 Republicans who voted for the massive Omnibus spending bill in late February (when 20 fiscally conservative Democrats voted against it).

Can anyone tell me what McHugh is thinking here?  Some speculated that maybe McHugh doesn't care what the Republican leadership thinks because he is retiring and he can vote however he likes.  Or perhaps McHugh isn't versed in how the card check law would affect jobs in the North Country.  Here are some of my favorite points, according to the Heritage Foundation, that members of Congress should consider before voting:

1) A recent Zogby poll found that 71% of union members believe that the current private-ballot process is fair. A McLaughlin & Associates poll found that fully 74% of union members favor keeping the current system in place over replacing it with one that provides less privacy.

2) Conservative estimates show that EFCA would reduce employment opportunities by 765,000 potential jobs in the economy over the next seven years. Other studies estimate even greater effects.

3) Instead of mutual consent, the federal government would then impose working conditions on both employers and employees, whether they were workable or not, and these conditions would be binding on the business for two years until the negotiations are reopened.  

That means employees are against the measure, we would lose jobs, and if EFCA goes into effect then these contracts will be run by government bureaucrats (and the contracts will be binding for at least 2 years).  It is simply shocking that McHugh could support such an undemocratic measure.  What is even more interesting about the debate is that at least six proponents of the Employee "No" Free Choice Act are now against it or now on the fence.   

"The legislation is divisive and distracting, said Arkansas Sen. Blanche Lincoln in an interview Monday. The Democratic lawmaker, who was previously seen as a supporter, said the Senate should focus on creating jobs and improving the U.S. economy. 'I have 90,000 Arkansans who need a job, that's my No. 1 priority,' she said. The legislation, she said, would be 'divisive and we don't need that right now. We need to focus on the things that are more important.'

Sen. Lincoln is one of several moderate Democrats expressing doubts about the Employee Free Choice Act. The bill would allow unions to organize workers without a secret ballot, giving employees the power to organize by simply signing cards agreeing to join. A second provision would give federal arbitrators power to impose contract terms on companies that fail to reach negotiated agreements with unions. Both provisions are strongly opposed by business groups, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers.

Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu and Arkansas Sen. Mark Pryor are among the Democratic lawmakers who have backed off their previous support."

Here is what Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had to say about the matter:

“This legislation goes against the fundamental right of political expression without fear of coercion.  As Americans, we expect to be able to vote on everything from high school class president to the President of the United States in private. Workers expect the same right in union elections.  To put it simply, the Employee ‘No Choice’ Act is undemocratic. To approve it would be to subvert the right to bargain freely over working terms and conditions. It would also strip members of a newly recognized union of their right to accept or reject a contract. In addition, this bill ushers in a new scheme of penalties which are anti-worker and which apply only to employers and not unions.  Even though we have regarded secret ballot elections as a fundamental right for more than a century, some Democrats still seem determined to strip that right away from American workers.  If this weren’t bad enough, a study released last week by economist Dr. Anne Layne-Farrar showed that, if enacted, Card Check legislation could cost 600,000 American jobs each year. At a time when all of us are looking to stimulate the economy and put Americans back to work, we threaten to undermine those efforts with this job-killing bill."

Someone please tell McHugh to stop this nonsense.  Can't he see where New York's economy has been going the past two decades?  Just last week the Watertown Daily Times had a story on Upstate New York's unemployment numbers:

"Lewis County had the highest January unemployment rate at 11.7 percent, up from 9.1 percent in December and from 7.8 percent in January 2008. St. Lawrence County posted an unemployment rate of 11.1 percent for January, up from 8.7 percent in December and from 7.6 percent in January 2008. Jefferson County's unemployment rate for January was 10.3 percent, up from 8.8 percent in December and from 7.5 percent in January 2008."

And as long as we are ending secret ballots for unions, why not end secret ballots for all federal, state, and local elections... would McHugh support that?  The business community and the US Chamber of Commerce have already called the bill, "the devil reincarnate" and "armageddon."

Since when did we become a country that no longer values freedom of association, a free and fair democratic process, and mutually beneficial labor contracts?  It all smells like socialism to me.


Anonymous said...

Why hasn't anyone at the Watertown paper written a story on this? Is McHugh switching parties or something? Geez.

Anonymous said...

Your take on this legislation is wrong. The bill won't take away the right of a secret ballot.

Anonymous said...

You must be kidding. Look what Unions have done here in Michigan. The auto industry went down the toiler big time, and now they are scamming on the taxpayers to subsidize their unions and maintain solvency.

It's an ugly road ahead for everyone involved - Michigan, the unions, the workers, the auto industry, and the TAXPAYER!

Anonymous said...

McHugh obviously supports this bill because union leaders in his district want him to and in return they promise not to cause him any heartache. What's surprising though is that there are only three Republicans. Can you verify that?

Anonymous said...

It sounds like Socialism because this legislation is a good step in that direction. There is no reason why the government should be taking away the right of union workers to have a secret ballot. This bill would put federal regulators in charge of complex collective bargaining negotiations. Why in the world anyone would support this garbage is beyond me.

Anonymous said...

Good post, thanks for the info

Anonymous said...

This is especially interesting considering that Arlen Specter just flip-flopped on card-check. He was the crucial 60th vote in the US Senate.