Pronoun Trouble

January 21st, 2009at 08:09pm Posted by Eli

Newt Gingrich on the Employee Free Choice Act:

On the January 19 edition of Fox News’ Happening Now, Fox News contributor and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-GA) claimed that President-elect Barack Obama is “going to be for the labor unions taking away your right to a secret-ballot vote before being forced to join a union.” Gingrich was referring to Obama’s support for the Employee Free Choice Act, and his comments echoed a common distortion employed by opponents of the legislation. As The New York Times reported, “Business groups have attacked the legislation because it would take away employers’ right to insist on holding a secret-ballot election to determine whether workers favored unionization” [emphasis added]. Supporters of the legislation say employers often use the election process to delay, obstruct, and intimidate workers in an effort to resist organizing efforts.

As Media Matters for America has noted, the House Committee on Education and Labor has described the claim that “[t]he Employee Free Choice Act abolishes the National Labor Relations Board’s ‘secret ballot’ election process” as a “myth,” and stated on its website: “The Employee Free Choice Act would make that choice — whether to use the NLRB election process or majority sign-up — a majority choice of the employees, not the employer.”

So, when Newt says Obama will take away “your” right to a secret-ballot vote before having a union forced on you, he means “they.”  The secret ballot is still an option, just not one that employees are likely to choose.  Employees wouldn’t lose anything, but employers would lose their right to dictate terms and control the battlefield.

(Also worth noting: The majority sign-up is still secret from employers, so they can’t retaliate against workers who want to join a union.)

Entry Filed under: Labor,Politics,Republicans,Wankers

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