Politics

Is Another Card-Check Fight Brewing?

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The Wall Street Journal's Melanie Trottman reports that four states are picking a fight with the federal government over card-check:

Attorneys general in four states—Arizona, South Carolina, South Dakota and Utah—joined together Thursday to say they'll fight back if the federal government carries out its threat to file lawsuits over the states' new constitutional amendments that require secret-ballot elections before a company can be unionized.

The National Labor Relations Board says the states can't override federal law that gives workers the option of the so-called card-check method, which lets workers check a box on a card to indicate their interest in forming a union, though employers still have the final say about whether they want to recognize the union once union organizers tally the marks on the cards….

In a joint letter to NLRB acting general counsel Lafe Solomon, the four attorneys general said they "reject" his demand to stipulate the amendments are unconstitutional. They urged him to reconsider and respect the decisions of their states' voters, who passed the amendments by votes that ranged from 60% in Utah to 86% in South Carolina.

Read the whole story here. Read Reason's coverage of the card-check debate right here.

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  1. “The National Labor Relations Board says the states can’t override federal law that gives workers the option of the so-called card-check method, which lets workers check a box on a card to indicate their interest in forming a union, though employers still have the final say about whether they want to recognize the union once union organizers tally the marks on the cards….”

    Of course the federal government never had any Constitutional authority to create either the NLRB or any labor laws at all to begin with.

    1. Did so! It was in the part that said all that stuff about the pursuit of happiness!

    2. *hand wave* Commerce Clause.

      1. Thank you for the hand wave! So generous this one. He’ll go far!

    3. In the 1930’s people were so alarmed by some of the crazy labor strife going on, which was interrupting interstate commerce, that they decided to rationalize bargaining. This was under the Commerce Clause. Interestingly intense labor violence seemed to go away afterwards…

      1. So… it’s okay to be in favor of secret ballots, except when it’s “bad”?

  2. I’d like to take a moment to offer my civil and on-topic comment that Reason has no responsibility for and I own.

    Fuck unions.

    Thank you for your time.

    1. Why do you hate The Working Man?, hmm?

      1. It’s a deep personal hatred that can’t be expressed in words. I would require a large half domed iron cage with various weapons strewn around its interior surface and the union person that is the focus of my animosity to be locked in this cage with me to adequately convey my hatred.

        1. No we know what really happened to Jimmy Hoffa: by the time hmm was finished with him the pieces were small enough to flush.

          1. Can’t we just get beyond Thunderdome?

  3. Aside from the usual rent-seeking ways of the long-past-useful unions, how could any kind of legitimate ballot not be secret?

    1. I’m not sure I’d go so far as to call the first hundred years of this country’s elections “illegitimate.”

    2. Supporters of card check have yet to explain this. If I recall correctly, most of their explanations for this go something like: “well, uh, HOLY SHIT IT’S ELVIS OVER THERE!”

        1. Didn’t you see him?!?

          “Now technically, that stain did appear to me. Also, I am familiar with carpentry, and I don’t know who my father is, so…am I the messiah? I don’t know. I could be. I’m not ruling it out.”

      1. Hah! I knew all along it was actually Elvis’ driver!

    3. It’s a mixed bag: the absence of secrecy opens the election up to voter intimidation. However, the presence of secrecy makes it easier to get away with rigging the election, since the results can’t really be audited for accuracy.

      Outside of the context of unions, which have a reputation for extortion and thuggery, I would be more concerned that elections would turn into a case of “obsessively scan voter rolls to find out who cast a vote in the wrong place or whatever”, at least in close elections. Like recounts, but much more personal.

  4. Y’all better not reply to this comment. This here comment is MY property! Anyone who trespasses on it or under it is getting a shotgun to the face.

    1. Off-topic, uncivil. Delete this thread, please.

      1. Fuck off slaver!

      2. You know what else is off-topic and uncivil?

        Egyptian Revolution.

        1. Oh, it’s civil.

    2. Oh reccccccctal, reccccccctal? Come on ovvvvvvvvvvver here. Someone wants to talllllk to you….

      reccccccccccccctal…..oh recccccccccccctaaaaaaaal.

      1. Can’t. Too busy autofelching.

        1. fcuk off helle- u are a on trikc ponny. .

  5. As a Labor Relations Guy?, I say with all due civility, and on topic, and in my own words,
    “What ‘hmm’ said.”

  6. Those amendments were the result of SECRET ballots. Maybe if the voters had been asked to indicate their choice on a card the results would have been more preferable and this lawsuit would be unnecessary?

  7. Why is it that “free association” requires strong-arming by the federal government?

  8. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers crackpots who post them.

    1. Are you implying everyone who reads this site is a crackpot? Or just all of us who post here?

      I’m okay with the second, but I have doubts about the first.

  9. Why are there any sort of laws at all involved in any of this? If some guy wants to form a union he can form one and say “here are the conditions for joining my union” and his fellow workers can decide to join or not. Meanwhile his employer can decide whether or not to fire him and anyone that joins.

    1. Freedom of Association covers all of it already.

  10. Question about these unionists.

    They demand a list of employees’ addresses and “card check” as a method of unionizing.

    So, naturally, if someone went to employees homes and half of them signed cards to DE-CERTIFY the union, the AFL-CIO bosses would respect that as well?

    Only seems fair.

  11. Can’t wait ’til I grow up and join a union!

  12. I am confused. When did card check pass? And, if it didn’t pass yet, how can the NLRB sue the states for ignoring a law that has not passed yet?

    1. You’re confused because you were basically lied to. I tried umpteenth times to tell people on the threads on this topic last year that unions have been legally able to use cards to certify the union for decades.

      http://supreme.justia.com/us/395/575/

      Employers can call for the card method too. The NLRB has safeguards to address the “oh noes thuggery” charges, and we also have, well, laws against that kind of thing. It’s fascinating how libertarians, when you talk about things like guns, will point out that we don’t need laws restricting guns because we already have laws against shooting people but when it comes to unions they say we can’t have card check because “oh noes thuggery!” as if there were not already laws against that…

      1. I tried umpteenth times to tell people on the threads on this topic last year that unions have been legally able to use cards to certify the union for decades.

        If that is true, why do we need another law saying that unions can use cards to certify unions.

        According to the your link:

        An employer is not obligated to accept a card check as proof of majority status under the NLRB’s current practice, and he is not required to justify his insistence on an election by making his own investigation of employee sentiment and showing affirmative reasons for doubting the majority status.

        Is this another example of the administration using regulations to enact laws that Congress failed to pass?

      2. “we also have, well, laws against that kind of thing.”

        Just like for cops! That’s why cops don’t engage in thuggery here.

      3. How about no thuggery either way, MNG? And how about we NOT let the secret ballot get shitcanned for ANYONE?

  13. Why does that little footnote say “We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time.”

    Are there other Reasons?

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