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One of the leading front groups for opponents of Employee Free Choice, the Coalition for a Democratic Workplace, is out today with a new ad. The ad once again makes the false claim that Employee Free Choice would eliminate secret ballots (it wouldn't) and the false comparison of American political elections to workplace union elections.

The comparison doesn’t hold water, and Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins and Oscar Dace make it clear why in an editorial in the San Jose Mercury News. The writers point out that union elections under the National Labor Relations act are "are as free and democratic as elections in Russia under Vladimir Putin - so rigged in the employer's favor that they are invoked exclusively as a union-thwarting tactic."

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The comparison between one-sided Russian elections and one-sided union elections (where the company holds the upper hand in every instance) is an apt one.  The writers go on to further illustrate the comparison:

Imagine, for example, a presidential election in which the:

Incumbent (employer) threatens opposition voters and his penalty, if caught, is writing an apology.

Incumbent (employer) legally delays an election by months or years until opposing voters move away or give up.

Voters (workers) are required to attend campaign rallies for the incumbent and be browbeaten during one-on-one meetings with ruling party officials.

Voters (workers) are required to cast their ballots at the incumbent's party headquarters under the nose of his party bosses.

Challenger (union) manages to win, but the incumbent refuses to accept the vote and legally remains in office during years of litigation.

Elections aren’t always squeaky clean here in America, obviously, but for the opponents of Employee Free Choice to compare workplace union elections to American political elections is just deceitful. If our political elections are as unfair, one-sided, and undemocratic as union elections under current labor law, I’ll eat my ushanka hat.
Extended (Optional)

Originally posted to 4workers on Thu Jan 08, 2009 at 08:23 AM PST.

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