“Card Check” is Union Priority in 110th Congress

The Wall Street Journal has a great op-ed today explaining the whole card check issue. Michigan’s auto Unions have been experiencing a a 20 year decline in membership, part of a larger nationwide trend:

 “Recently Ford Motor Co. offered modest buyouts to 38,000 hourly employees, more than half its unionized work force in the U.S. General Motors Corp. and its former parts division, the now-bankrupt Delphi Co., did the same for 40,000 hourly workers, about a quarter of their union work forces… The United Auto Workers is down to slightly more than 500,000 members, compared to 1.5 million only two decades ago.”

With membership down in nearly every state, Big Labor is pulling out all the stops to increase membership. The newest  move to stop the hemorraging is the ‘card check’ process.

“The latest hot idea is ‘card check,’ in which unions demand to be recognized as the bargaining unit for a workplace if a majority of the workers merely sign a card indicating their support. Under current law, companies are required to recognize a union only after a secret ballot of the workers–and unions have been losing an increasing number of those elections.”

With the Democrat takeover of Congress, now may be the best opportunity for the Unions to push through their agenda. Recent card check legislation in the 109th Congress sponsored by Sen. Ted Kennedy just narrowly missed passage. While the Republicans still have a chance for a filibuster and Pres. Bush could use his veto power, it remains a possibility that it may slip through.

Ironically, this ‘card check’ legislation may not have the desired effect that the big Unions desire:

“Dana Corp., a major auto supplier, several years ago agreed to a card check campaign at two Virginia plants, which were duly organized by the UAW. But both plants are now scheduled to be closed because of mounting competitive pressures both from abroad and non-union plants in the U.S”

Even with Big Labor on the offensive to push this legislation through Congress, it remains to be seen if they have the backing of the public sector. This recently was no more evident than in Michigan:

“In November, voters in Michigan by a wide margin voted down a ballot proposal backed by teachers unions that would have guaranteed annual wage hikes at least equal to inflation (as well as a state bailout of pension and health care benefits). And that was even before the true bill for piling unionism on top of civil service status for government employees is made clear by new accounting standards that begin taking effect this year.”

This legislation looks to be an early opportunity for the GOP as it is evident that these aggressive unions do not have full public support. What better way for the GOP to get back to their principles, which most voters believed they had abandoned, than fighting this intrusive legislation.