Anyone who read the March 20, 2009 Wall Street Journal editorial, “Unionize or Die”, had to come away with the firm conviction that the Wall Street Journal, in no uncertain terms, opposes the Employee Free Choice Act, more commonly known as card check.
But, not so, according to California Democrat George Miller, as Friday’s Wall Street Journal points out. How can this be, you ask? Well, it’s easy enough to do when you only quote half of a sentence, and that’s precisely what Mr. Miller did when he posted to his Education and Labor Committee web site.
Our editorial last week, “Unionize or Die,” has suddenly been twisted to mean that we think the Employee Free Choice Act doesn’t trash the secret ballot in union organizing elections. We wrote: “The bill doesn’t remove the secret-ballot option from the National Labor Relations Act but in practice makes it a dead letter.” California Democrat George Miller and his comrades at the Service Employees International Union have taken to quoting only the first half of that sentence and claiming we’ve had a change of heart.
Miller’s translation…the bill doesn’t remove the secret ballot. He thus implies that it will be alive and well under the proposed legislation.
And, were that not enough, a group calling itself American Rights at Work (guess which side of the fence they are on), placed a half page ad in the Washington Post that read, “The Wall Street Journal catches big business IN A LIE.” Taking a page from Mr. Miller, this ad too, only quotes half of the editorial’s sentence.
Sure, the secret ballot is still part of the law and can be called for by employers when 30% of employees sign cards, but, only the union organizers know how many cards have been signed. Thus, the secret ballot is rendered meaningless under the proposed law when unions can simply wait as long as need be until they collect authorization cards from more than 50% of the employees. At that point, no ballot, secret or otherwise is necessary. The union is recognized.
Even if you are a proponent of the proposed legislation, you have to dislike labor’s underhanded way of claiming The Wall Street Journal as an ally.