Chamber Blasts Union Leaders Opposition To Secret Ballot Elections and Greater Financial Disclosure

Tuesday, December 2, 2003 - 7:00pm

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The United States Chamber of Commerce blasted union leadership for pushing legislation that would deny employees secret ballot elections in the union selection process and using the courts to fight administration efforts to require greater financial disclosure.

"Denying workers the right to cast their ballots in private – a fundamental part of a fair election process – will not reverse the trend of declining union membership," said Randel Johnson, Chamber vice president for labor policy. "Moving away from the shop-worn rhetoric of the 1930's and creating an agenda and program relevant to today's workforce, will do more to add to union membership roles than eliminating the rights of workers to cast their vote in private, removed from coercion from either unions or employers."

Legislation, introduced by Rep. George Miller (D-CA) as H.R. 3619 and Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-MA) as S. 1925, would replace secret ballot elections overseen by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) – the preferred method for determining whether or not employees want union representation – with "card check" elections, where employees are forced to cast their vote in front of union organizers and fellow employees who support unionization. The unions have blamed current NLRB procedures for their inability to organize more workers.

"Not content with denying employee's use of a secret ballot, union leadership recently filed a lawsuit, in AFL-CIO v. Chao, challenging new regulations requiring better disclosure of how they spend the dues of union rank and file members," added Johnson. "Is there any wonder that union membership has been in steady decline?"

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world's largest business federation representing more than three million businesses and organizations of every size, sector and region.

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