Sunday, November 30, 2008

Fox News Propagandizes Against Employee Free Choice Act

Media Matters has compiled studies and a video presentation, shown above, that exposes the campaign by Fox News to propagandize against the Employee Free Choice Act. The legislation has a better chance of passage under a Democratic president and Congress.

Following a decades-long slide in union membership, the Employee Free Choice Act would help employees form a union more easily and deter the activities of anti-union employers. The bill gives workers the right to unionize as soon as a majority signs cards stating that they want to do so. It must be emphasized that workers would also have the right to hold a secret-ballot election. It's their free choice–whether to use the cards or a secret ballot–one that companies would have to honor.

Media Matters cites a New York Times article that states, "Union officials say they do not dislike the secret ballot, but rather the lengthy, expensive, adversarial campaign before the vote in which companies often fire union supporters and use videos, large meetings and one-on-one sessions to pressure employees to vote against unionizing."

Fox News is disseminating the falsehood that the Employee Free Choice Act "abolishes" the National Labor Relation Board's secret ballot election process. Karl Rove stated that the act "...[takes] away the working man's right to a secret ballot." Paul Gigot refers to "...this ban on secret ballots..." Fred Barnes states that the pending legislation "...would allow unions to organize without allowing a secret ballot..."

Amazing how these commentators, who consistently parrot the Republican corporate, anti-union line, are suddenly concerned about the "working man's right." What they're really concerned about is the right of businesses to manipulate and intimidate employees who want to unionize. Media Matters cites studies that make this case, including one by Kate Bronfenbrenner, director of labor education at Cornell University, that "...examined more than 400 NLRB certification election campaigns in manufacturing plants between January 1, 1998, and December 31, 1999, and found that 25 percent of employers fired at least one worker for union activity and that 51 percent of employers told employees that their plant might close if workers unionized."

With a decision pending on the Employee Free Choice Act, employers at least know that they have Fox News battling for their right to continue firing activist workers and threatening plant closings when employees attempt to unionize.

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