Letter to the Editor 3-30-09

By Pitt News Staff

To the Editor,

In Mason Herron’s March 25 article addressing the Employee Free Choice… To the Editor,

In Mason Herron’s March 25 article addressing the Employee Free Choice Act, he badly distorts what the EFCA actually says. In doing so, he joins in the chorus of hysterical business interests lobbying against anything that might facilitate workplace unionization.

First of all, the EFCA does not abolish the right to a secret ballot. It only removes the right of managers and bosses to demand one. Traditionally, anti-union employers insisted on secret-ballot union elections not out of any concern for democracy, but in order to prolong the unionization process. This allowed employers time to terrorize employees with firings and threats of company closure and mass unemployment. Under the EFCA, the workers can still decide to form a union by secret ballot, but it is now their decision; employers no longer have the right to demand it.

Another of Herron’s claims, namely that ‘businesses have been equally guilty of violent coercion [as unions],’ is sheer fantasy. Non-unionized — meaning underpaid and overworked — employees have neither the financial resources nor job security to wage the kind of sustained campaigns undertaken by employers. The equivalence between workers and business is not even close.

Matt Kosko

School of Arts and Sciences

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