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Union Facts

Card Check Executive Summary

The best decisions are made with the best information—and without coercion. That is true for employees deciding whether to join a union. It is equally true for politicians who are being pressured by labor leaders to codify the union organizing method known as “card check,” a scheme rife with intimidation, coercion, and confusion.

This report examines two methods by which employees choose (or do not choose) union membership. The evidence is clear: secret ballot elections are a far superior method of deciding unionization than the “card check” process. This veritable mountain of evidence comes from the following:

  • Employees who have been the targets of intimidation or the victims of confusion during union organizing drives.
  • Public opinion polling, which shows that 88 percent of union workers “feel strongly” that ballot elections should be kept private. 82% of voters favor having a federally supervised election as a means “to protect the individual rights of workers,” with upport increasing to 85% among union households.Former members of the National Labor Relations Board.
  • The Supreme Court, which has said the card check system is “admittedly inferior to the election process.”
  • Written statements in support of secret ballots from the same politicians who are now trying to end such elections for employees.
  • Documents—from the same unions that are now trying to end secret ballot elections for employees—showing that cards are not a reliable method of discerning an employee’s true preference.
  • Labor union officialswho have required secret ballot elections in dozens of cases for their own staff employees seeking to join a union.

As union officials and their allies campaign to take away secret ballots, they rely on a collection of dubious talking points. As this report finds, their criticisms of government-overseen elections are almost always overblown. In the case of the most important statistic—the rate at which union supporters are fired—union allies have overstated the truth by a factor of ten. In reality, an analysis of federal government data conducted exclusively by the Center for Union Facts found that fewer than 2 percent of election drives involve wrongful termination.

The current success of political attempts to end private ballots in favor of publicly signed cards can be understood in light of America’s altered political landscape. The head of one labor-funded organization recalled the old line: “Reward your friends and punish your enemies.” And the message to Congress has been heard.

The real punishment, however, will fall squarely on working Americans.