In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Feb. 27, 2007 / 9 Adar, 5767

Unions want to gag free speech at work

By George Will

Printer Friendly Version
Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Good for Adrienne Eaton of Rutgers University's Labor Studies & Employment Relations Department. Her forthright description of a central issue in the debate about the Employee Free Choice Act, which she supports, clarifies why that legislation is symptomatic of a disagreeable tendency in today's politics.

Labor unions hope this exquisitely mis-titled act, which the House of Representatives probably will pass this week, will compensate for their dwindling persuasiveness as they try to persuade workers to join. It would allow unions to organize workplaces without workers voting for unionization in elections with secret ballots. Instead, unions could use the "card check" system: Once a majority of a company's employees signs a card expressing consent, the union is automatically certified as the bargaining agent for all the workers.

Unions say the card-check system is needed to protect workers from anti-union pressure by employers before secret-ballot elections. Such supposed pressure is one of organized labor's alibis for declining membership.

There are, however, ample protections against employer pressures that really are abusive. Tellingly, the act would forbid employers from trying to influence — pressure? — employees by improving their lot: It would fine employers that, to reduce the incentive to unionize, give workers "unilateral" — not negotiated — improvements in compensation or working conditions during attempts at unionization. Clearly, the act aims less to help workers than to herd them as dues-payers into unions.

Under the card-check system, unions are able to, in effect, select the voters they want. It strips all workers of privacy and exposes them, one at a time, to the face-to-face pressure of union organizers who distribute and collect the cards. The Supreme Court has said that the card-check system is "admittedly inferior to the election process."

Repealing a right — to secret ballots — long considered fundamental to democratic culture would be a radical act. But labor is desperate. The card-check shortcut to unionization comes before Congress after last month's announcement that union membership declined, yet again, in 2006, by 326,000.


Every weekday NewsAndOpinion.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". HUNDREDS of columnists and cartoonists regularly appear. Sign up for the daily update. It's free. Just click here.

The percentage of employees in unions fell from 12.5 to 12, down from 20.1 percent in 1983 and 35 percent in the 1950s. The growth area of organized labor is among public-sector employees, 36.2 percent of whom are unionized, compared with just 7.4 percent of private-sector employees.

Today's workforce is marvelously flexible. People entering the labor market at age 18 will have, on average, 10 employers by the time they are 38. Such mobile workers often do not see what value union membership would add to their lives.

What unions are trying to sell is decreasingly attractive to potential members, so unions are doing what declining businesses often do: They are seeking government protection, in the form of a law to insulate them from the rigors of competition. They want government to allow them to, in effect, silence the employers' side of debates about the merits of unionization.

This is where Professor Easton — again, she favors the Employee Free Choice Act — is pertinent. Avoiding the sort of circumlocutions that Washington policymakers often use to conceal their thoughts, she said this to the New York Sun: "Because employers wield so much power, it's hard to figure out what kinds of lines to draw about employer speech."

The Employee Free Choice Act would short-circuit the process of persuading workers through a public debate between unions and employers, the winner of which would be determined by workers casting secret ballots. Welcome to the political culture that the McCain-Feingold campaign finance law is shaping. That law, which regulates the quantity, timing and content of political speech, is making it increasingly acceptable for interest groups to attempt to advance their social agendas by limiting their adversaries' speech.

Senate Democrats might not find 60 votes to bring this Orwellian legislation — "free choice," indeed — to a vote. But if it does reach the president's desk, he will veto it. He should have vetoed McCain-Feingold. Its speech restrictions — applauded as virtuous by the (exempt) media — have legitimized talk about "drawing lines" to circumscribe the speech rights of entire categories of Americans, in this case employers.

Much recent academic writing about the First Amendment, and much of the jurisprudence about it, has "balanced" speech rights against other social goods and has valued speech rights primarily as instrumental for other social goods. So there are, alas, ample precedents for this legislative attempt to truncate employers' speech rights.

Still, herewith a modest proposal: Any member of Congress who was elected by a secret ballot should oppose the Employee Free Choice Act.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

George Will's latest book is "With a Happy Eye but: America and the World, 1997-2002" to purchase a copy, click here. Comment on this column by clicking here.


© 2006 WPWG