Invariably, a conversation about the merits of obtaining recognition through a card check (as opposed to NLRB elections) leads to the question, “Well, aren’t secret ballot elections a good thing?”
Well, imagine what this November’s election would look like were it conducted by the NLRB under our current labor laws…
First, since there is no guarantee of an election, Bush would rule until Kerry could jump through some difficult hoops.
To start, Kerry would need to prove that at least 30 percent of eligible citizens wished to be represented by Kerry by getting “Kerry authorization cards” signed.
Kerry would face logistical difficulties obtaining these signed cards because he would not have access to the citizens. He would not be provided with a list of citizens’ names (let alone e-mail addresses — when the NLRB does provide information, it’s from pre-technology days and usually consists of outdated addresses), nor would he have access to large meetings with us.
He would, however, be forced to move quickly because the authorization cards become invalid after one year.
Assuming Kerry was able to network and reach 30 percent of the citizens and get them to sign cards within a year, the question of who could actually vote would be rather muddy. The law would offer some guidelines, but if Bush and Kerry couldn’t agree on who was eligible, the NLRB would conduct a lengthy and time-consuming hearing, delaying the ELECTIONS for up to a year or longer. (Yes, that’s “elections,” plural!)
Undoubtedly, we wouldn’t all be voting in the same election because Bush probably would be successful at splitting us into different groups based on education, race, gender and income.
The NLRB would conduct separate elections, much to Kerry’s chagrin because it would be easier for Bush to win by playing one group against the other. Sound familiar?
During this delay, Bush would almost certainly hire an expensive “anti-Democrat” consultant on retainer, ready to spring to action at the faintest murmur of opposition.
Citizens would be forced to attend meetings conducted by this consultant, as well as other Republican leaders, on a regular basis. We would all receive endless literature detailing the perils of life under a Democratic leader.
This information wouldn’t necessarily need to be factual; Bush would just need to demonstrate that he had a “reasonable belief” that what he said was true. He could legally state that he believed that the country would cease to exist if Kerry won.
And if that threat didn’t scare us, Bush simply would deport up to 10 percent of his opposition (recent studies suggest that up to 10 percent of workers trying to organize are fired).
The relatively few and weak laws protecting our rights as citizens during this ferocious anti-Kerry campaign would be easily circumvented by Bush’s professional Democrat-buster.
Also, Bush probably would decide to break the various laws (like the one protecting us from deportation) because the NLRB’s main remedy would be for Bush to post a sign saying that he had been naughty.
Finally, if Kerry had enough money and resources to fight all the way to an election, it would be conducted at Bush’s office, allowing even further intimidation of the citizens.
And if Bush, who probably outspent Kerry by a margin of 10-1, were somehow to lose this election, he could appeal it for years and years — from the regional board to the national board, followed by district courts, appellate courts, and finally all the way to the Supreme Court. (And we all know with whom they would side!)