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One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -- Plato (429-347 BC)

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Update on "Will Senators Mark Pryor & Blanche Lincoln Sell Out Workers?"

Bill Smith, Editorial Update (Tues., Nov. 25, 2008; 1:34 pm): My prior reported concerns that Senators Lincoln and Pryor may be willing to sell out workers and Arkansas values are now confirmed as being closer to the truth than even suspected. Today, an Arkansas Demorcat-Gazette story provides confirmation of my concerns. It appears that Senators Mark Pryor and Blanche Lincoln are so rooted in Washington D.C. politics that they may indeed sellout Arkansas workers and Arkansas values. I first postulated the issue as a question. However, it is now time to forget questioning and their "politicianspeak." It is time to insist that both Lincoln and Pryor support Arkansas values and workers by voting against this deceitfully-named “Employee Free Choice Act” (aka: Card Check) which deprives workers of the right to a secret ballot and subjects them to threats and intimidation by thugs supporting the union. Contact both of Lincoln and Pryor now!

Doing the light fantastic - Our senators and the secret ballot: HERE IS Blanche Lincoln's latest non-stand on whether American workers should retain their right to a secret ballot when it comes to unionizing their plants: "I know it's a big concern among the business community," she told Little Rock's chamber of commerce the other day, "and I know it's a big concern among the labor community. I hope what we don't do is to allow that discussion to become a distraction to the very critical issues that are facing this country right now."

What could be a more critical issue than preserving Americans' right to the secret ballot, Senator Lincoln didn't specify. She was too busy ducking and covering. Somebody who didn't know better might suspect, perish the thought, that our senior and ever-politic U. S. senator was just wheeling out some preparatory excuse for not doing the right thing. . . .

This isn't leadership, and it's certainly not a stand for principle. It's just waffling. Here's hoping that Senator Lincoln will finally summon the courage, or just the sense of responsibility, to come out against the union bosses' latest attempt to deprive American workers of their right to a secret ballot. And if she can't do that, to at least tell her constituents here in Arkansas where the heck she stands.

The other senator from Arkansas, Mark Pryor, isn't quite as smooth. He doesn't dance around this issue so much as slouch around it: he describes this power grab of a bill as "not perfect, and while I have been supportive in the past, I will consider amendments to make it better if and when it is considered by the Senate." What's that supposed to mean, exactly ? That he's hoping the issue will go away before he has to cast his vote fir or agin? The senator's last great service to hardpressed workers in this state—when he was still Arkansas' attorney general—was to allow payday lenders, a nice term for loan sharks, to charge hard-pressed borrowers usurious rates on small loans.

If and when our two U. S. senators make up their mind on this issue—perhaps they have and just don't dare tell the rest of us — it would be nice to get a straight answer out of them. Should they decide that Americans should be denied a secret ballot at their workplace, their votes would not be without irony. Having just participated in the Democratic caucus in the Senate, which allows senators to cast their ballots in secret for their leaders, they would have tried to deny the same right to American workers.

Bill Smith, ARRA Editor (Sunday, Nov. 23, 2008; 3:34 pm): A deceitfully-named “Employee Free Choice Act” (aka: Card Check) is pending in Congress. A Townhall article relates:
Basically, the act states that if a union can collect signed cards from more than half of a company’s workers, the shop can be automatically unionized with no secret-ballot -- and no chance for employees to hear from their employer and learn about the pros and cons of the union before making a final decision (for example, employees might want to know about union corruption, that they would lose the right to negotiate pay raises and promotions based on merit, that they might be forced to strike, etc).

The proponents of the bill point out it doesn't not eliminate the option for a secret ballot -- and technically speaking, they are correct. However, the truth is that there’s almost no way that procedure will ever be used if the easier card-collection mechanism is legalized. In essence, this act wouldn't just eliminate the secret ballot, it would actually eliminate the ballot. ... So yes, this effectively would eliminate the secret ballot by rendering it a moot point. Once the cards are collected, there is no need for an election -- businesses are mandated to begin negotiating only with the union representative.
While unions strangled the auto industry in Detroit and other industries across the nation, union membership has decreased. In the Southern Right to Work States the auto industry and other industries are flourishing. The union's leadership are none too happy and have supported Democrats in hopes of gaining more influence with special emphasis on getting "Card Check" passed. Even tough 30-40 percent of union members are Republicans, the vast majority of union money goes to Democrats. As such, many union members are forced to contribute financially to causes they abhor. While research has not been able to identify the estimated percentage of conservative democrats in unions, they also oppose many causes supported by the unions.

Arkansas has been a strong Right to Work state. However, even in Arkansas, employees are able to unionized with the present secret employee voting process. Arkansas offers many enticements for business to locate in Arkansas. Currently, Arkansans and the Arkansas state legislature would likely oppose passage of the deceitfully named “Employee Free Choice Act.” However, Arkansas State Senators Mark Pryor and Blanche Lincoln will be key players and critical in supporting the values of Arkansas by supporting the right of employees to continue to have their secret vote on their choice whether to unionize. It is disappointing that union leadership has sought to take away worker's secret voting rights thus substituting harassment to expand their power and influence.

With shift of power in Washington, D.C., will Senators Mark Pryor and Blanche Lincoln remain faithful to Arkansan values by opposing "Card Check" or will they sell out workers for favors in Washington? It is my hope they will place Arkansas first! Contact our Senators and let them know they should support Arkansas and not the unions by voting NO on “Employee Free Choice Act” (aka: Card Check)!

Tags: Arkansas, Blanche Lincoln, Card Check, Mark Pryor, unions To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Posted by Bill Smith at 8:00 AM - Post Link


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