U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander today joined Republican colleagues in denouncing the Employee Free Choice Act, which he deemed the “Secret Ballot Elimination Act,” saying it “kowtows to union bosses at workers’ expense.”
Alexander said the Democratic-backed measure would allow union bosses to intimidate and pressure workers. The bill would repeal provisions of the 1947 Taft-Hartley Act guaranteeing workers the right to a National Labor Relations Board-conducted election if a union demands recognition. However, it continues to require a secret ballot for a union to disband.
“Workers’ right to a secret ballot has been on the books for 60 years,” Alexander said. “Now, at the behest of the union bosses, the Democrats want to take that right away.”
“There is no more fundamental right in a democracy than the right to a secret ballot- whether it’s a vote for President or a vote to become a union,” Alexander said. “We don’t let Republican or Democratic Party bosses into the voting booth for elections, and we shouldn’t let managers or union bosses look over workers’ shoulders when they decide whether or not to unionize.”
Alexander was joined Wednesday by Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), as well as Senators Saxby Chambliss (R-GA), John Ensign (R-NV), Mike Enzi (R-WY), Orrin Hatch (R-NV) and Johnny Isakson (R-GA).
The bill also imposes mandatory binding arbitration when employers and unions don’t come to agreement on a first contract within 90 days. Under current law, such agreements must be reached voluntarily by agreement of both parties.
The bill has been endorsed by the AFL-CIO and the Communist Party, USA, among others.
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