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Letter: Employee Rights Act would update labor law

Employee Rights Act would update labor law

In her Dec. 18 Another Voice, “Strong unions are essential to America’s future,” Karen Magee, president of New York State United Teachers, fails to acknowledge the real culprit “[w]eakening the voice of workers” today: Big Labor union bosses.

Bombarded by recycled union talking points like hers, people might not know that unionized workplaces are also some of the most undemocratic. Under current labor law, employees are not guaranteed a secret ballot election when mulling union representation. In about 40 percent of union recognition “elections,” labor organizers use a public “card check” procedure that replaces the right to a private vote. This leaves employees vulnerable to well-documented union threats and bullying.

To address this injustice – conveniently ignored by Magee – Congress has reintroduced the Employee Rights Act, which would update labor law by guaranteeing secret ballot union elections and criminalizing union violence at the federal level. This would finally strengthen workers’ voices on the job.

“No one pretends that the collective bargaining process is perfect,” Magee writes. On that point, she’s right. We need the ERA to fix it.

Richard Berman

Executive Director

Center for Union Facts