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The Joke That Is ?Secret Ballot? Union Elections

Started by CL Admin, April 10, 2007, 08:27:08 am

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CL Admin

April 10, 2007
The Joke That Is "Secret Ballot" Union Electionsby Nathan Newman/TPM Cafe News
The big corporate talking point against the Employee Free Choice Act is that it allows card check approval of unions rather than mandating secret ballot elections. But check out today's headline after workers at Trump's Plaza casino voted by 2-1 to join [...]


Richard Mellor

A major problem that exists in the trade union movement is the leadership and its policies.  There is much intimidation of rank and file members seeking to change those policies within the labor movement itself.  

The top down strategy for organizing is also seriously flawed.  It is clear that the intention of the labor officialdom with these organizing programs is to develop a youth wing of the bureaucracy who follow the same strategy; keep the members as uninformed as possible. They do not want them to partiicpate in an active conscious way in the day to day running  of the union.

No one would oppose the unionization of workers, but the whole impetus for these drives is increasing revenue which translates as the dues base.

A young friend of mine whose place was organized said that after a year it was almost impossible to get any help from the Union.  One staffer responded that they didn't have the resources as they were busy "growing" the Union.  This is an empoyer's term they use to describe their business growth. The heads of the Trade Union movement see themselves as the CEO's of a business and, like all good businesspeople, they have to increase market share.

My friend's dues were significant given his wages as a waiter.  He didn't regret being unionized but he said that many of his co-workers felt angry.  They got the buck or two an hour raise.  The employer got the five year weak contract and the Union disappeared.

If the author of this article is the Nathan Newman that fluttered around the fringes of the labor movement here in the bay area, he was completely wedded to the labor heirarchy.  He never once publicly differed from them, challenged their policies; nothing.

There were no distinguishable differences between him and the labor heirarchy.  We had many strikes here that went down to defeat due to the complete failure of the labor leadership in this area and nationally, despite great heroism and sacrifice by the members.

The Nathan Newman I had occasion to bump in to was part of the problem in the labor movement, not the solution.

I'm suprised he hasn't  gotten a job with a major Union as an advisor or something.