Letter: EFCA doesn't take away secret ballotHave you seen the ad on TV that says Al Franken supports the legislation that would take away the secret ballot from workers who want to join a union?
By: Rollie Salling, Winona, Worthington Daily Globe
Have you seen the ad on TV that says Al Franken supports the legislation that would take away the secret ballot from workers who want to join a union? Every time I’ve seen it I could not believe that Al would support something that would hurt workers. So, I investigated:
The commercials and ads imply that unions would not support the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA), but they do. The AFL-CIO has publicly asked Norm Coleman to condemn the current ads. The group that pays for these ads, the Coalition for a Democratic Workplace, is a business-oriented front group. And, financially speaking, this group is actually quite friendly to Norm Coleman.
Most importantly, though, EFCA does not take away the secret ballot. Currently there are two ways to become a union. The first option is for 50 percent of the employees —plus one — to publicly sign union cards to become a union. The other option is to cast a secret ballot to determine if a majority of employees want to become a union. As it stands now, the employers get to decide which option is used. EFCA would make that decision up to the employees.
When employers demand a secret ballot, there is usually a waiting period of six months to two years before the election is held. During this time employers often intimidate the employees by doing things such as: firing leaders in the organizing drive; threatening to close the business; making false promises, etc. Allowing the employees to publicly sign up to become a union will help the workplace become more democratic and put less control in the employers’ hands to implement these intimidation practices.
WCCO did a “reality check” on the television ad and concluded that it did contain false information. Call Al Franken at (888) 908-2008 and thank him for supporting the Employee Free Choice Act.