Time for a secret ballot – Tea Party Nation

Time for a secret ballot – Tea Party Nation.

Posted by Judson Phillips

What is more American than a secret ballot?  Everyone voting can vote without fear of retribution.

 Unions have long tried to do away with secret ballots in Unionization votes.   That way more people could be forced to join the union because if they voted against the union, there would be retribution.

 Now a vote is coming up.  It should be a secret ballot but is not.

 What is it?

 It is the election of the House Speaker.

 When the House meets on January 3, one of the first items of business will be voting for the House Speaker.   As mentioned, this will not be a secret ballot, unless we can change that.

 From Breitbart.com:

 But if a member introduces that resolution for a secret ballot, the whole House will vote on that first. That vote will need to have a public roll call, meaning the American people, the press, and Boehner will know who voted which way. Even so, those who are considering this path forward to unseat Boehner know that Boehner and other establishment Republicans can’t legitimately oppose the concept of a secret ballot election for a leader of a political body.

 John Boehner himself has called for secret ballots in union votes.  How does he now turn around and demand a public vote on his election as Speaker?

 Again from Breitbart:

 It would be very difficult, politically, to vote against a resolution for a secret ballot. A secret ballot is sacrosanct in the American psyche. The procedure, however, would free Congressmen to vote for Speaker without fear of punishment or retaliation. If just a handful of Republicans vote for someone other than Boehner on the first ballot, he would be denied that gavel and the House would then move to another vote. Because of a current vacancy in the House, a member would need 217 votes to claim the Speakership.

A move to a second ballot could quickly get interesting. Seeing that Boehner is vulnerable, other members would start trying to build support for their own nomination. If this coalesces behind a single alternative to Boehner, then his speakership would be in serious doubt. The position of Speaker is built to a large degree on inevitability, i.e. the lack of any credible alternatives. Once that veil is breached, support for current leadership can melt away quickly. 

 This is our mission this week.  We must contact our Republican Congressmen and demand they support a secret ballot for the election of the Speaker.  Boehner can only maintain his grip on the Speakership by fear and intimidation.  A secret ballot ends that.

 This is the week between Christmas and New Year.  Most of us do not have much planned for this week and indeed want to do very little.  But this is one thing that is essential.

 

Call your Republican Congressman today and demand they vote for a secret ballot for the election of the Speaker of the House of Representatives on January 3.

The Employee Rights Act – Orrin Hatch – Townhall Conservative

The Employee Rights Act – Orrin Hatch – Townhall Conservative.

Note: Co-authored by Rep. Tim Scott
America’s laws have long recognized the need to protect workers from abuse. In 1935, Congress passed the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), which ensured that employees would have the right join a union ­ or to refrain from doing so — free of harassment or intimidation.
In 1959, after a numerous hearings examining corruption within the labor movement, Congress passed the Labor Management Reporting and Disclosure Act (LMRDA) in an effort to bolster self-governance, transparency, and democracy within unions.
But, since that time, progress for workers’ rights has stalled.
As Big Labor and employers continue their ongoing power struggles, the rights of individual workers are far too often lost in the shuffle.  And, as we’ve seen under the Obama Administration, legal protections for workers who may oppose unionization can be easily swept aside by ideological bureaucrats.  
For these reasons, we’ve introduced the Employee Rights Act, a bicameral, pro-worker piece of legislation to bolster democracy in the workplace.
First, the Employee Rights Act will require a secret ballot vote in all union elections.  
According to the National Labor Relations Board, nearly 40 percent of all unions certified in 2009 did not have to go through an election. Presumably, most of these unions were certified through a combination of card checks and decisions by employers to accept the union without demanding a vote.  
Over the years, we’ve all heard the troubling accounts of unions obtaining signatures through deception and intimidation.  And, we’ve all heard about union organizing campaigns and boycotts that have all but forced employers to give up their right to demand a secret ballot vote.  Under the Employee Rights Act, that right will belong to the employees, and it will be guaranteed.  
While requiring these votes is important, it is only the first step in restoring democracy in America’s workforce.  The vast majority of current union members ­ more than 90 percent according to some estimates ­ never had an opportunity to vote for their union, neither by card nor by ballot.  They simply accepted jobs at workplaces that were already unionized and, in many cases, they were forced to begin paying dues as a condition of employment.
The Employee Rights Act will give millions of workers their first opportunity to vote on whether to be part of a union.  Under the bill, instead of a one-time vote followed by mandatory union representation in near-perpetuity, unions will stand for reelection by secret ballot every three years.  
In addition, the Employee Rights Act will prevent any union from ordering a strike unless it first obtains the consent of a majority of employees through a secret ballot vote.  If we’re serious about ensuring democracy in the workplace, we must allow employees to have a say before their union can force them into unemployment and possible replacement.
Furthermore, the bill would give employees more control over how their union dues are spent.  Exit polls continually show that union members are almost evenly divided among Democrats and Republicans at the ballot box.  Yet, more than 90 percent of Big Labor’s political contributions go to Democrats.
Under the Employee Rights Act, a union will have to obtain an employee’s written consent before using their dues for any purpose unrelated to the union’s collective bargaining functions, including political contributions
or expenditures.   
These are not radical ideas, they are simply common sense.  And, not surprisingly, they are very popular with the public.  According to a poll conducted earlier this year by the Opinion Research Corporation, these and other proposals contained in the Employee Rights Act are supported by no less than 60 percent of Americans and most of them by more than 75 percent.
America is in the midst of a fierce debate over the role of labor unions in our economy.  While this debate is important, it should not stop us from working together to take affirmative steps to protect the rights of individual workers.  The Employee Rights Act would do just that.
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