I knew that I wrote this down somewhere on the internet. Here it is again, reprinted on me own blog:
Well, let's talk about "the institutional integrity & deep lineage of a secret ballot."

The NLRB, and the recognition process it administers, is a product of the Wagner Act of 1935. Prior to the passage of that act, workers got a union by striking or engaging in other direct actions. The Wagner Act represents a compromise meant to protect, on the one hand, the right of workers to organize themselves and form unions, and on the other, the interest of management in maintaining an orderly workplace.

Fast forward to today. The NLRB is bought and paid for by management. Corporations can flaunt the rules without fear of significant penalty, meaning that a worker who takes a stand for an unrecognized union places her job on the line. Polls consistently show that workers would choose union recognition by a 2:1 margin, and yet unions routinely lose elections run by the NLRB.

The reification of the secret ballot misidentifies the right that is at stake here. It is, quite simply, the right of association. For workers, protecting that right means protecting their right to organize and bargain collectively. In the United States today, that right is not protected.

EFCA will help. It isn't a betrayal of the Wagner Act because the Wagner Act isn't about the process of recognition. It's about insuring that forming and joining a union is a live option for every worker.

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