02.08.07

ENZI SAYS CARD CHECK BILL WOULD DENY WORKERS FUNDAMENTAL VOTING RIGHTS ON THE JOB

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Mike Enzi (R-WY), Ranking Member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, today rejected a bill introduced in the House that would compromise a worker’s right to cast a government-supervised, private ballot when deciding whether to join a union, saying the bill would leave worker’s exposed to pressure, intimidation and coercion by co-workers and labor union leaders. Enzi’s comments came as the bill, the so-called “Employee Free Choice Act,” was the subject of a hearing today by the House Committee on Education and Labor. “The right to a private ballot is one of the cornerstones of our democracy,” Enzi said. “Working Americans deserve to choose what’s right for them in the workplace without fear coercion or pressure and without having to publicly disclose or defend their views to hostile coworkers or union. “Americans get a private ballot when they choose their President, their Congressmen, their local councilmen, even their PTA leaders – why should they not have the same right in the workplace when they decide whether to form a union? Free, fair, and private elections are a fundamental principle of American democracy. “By substituting an unsupervised and undemocratic Card Check system for a government-supervised private ballot process, we would be sending working families a conflicting message that voting rights end at the shop door, and that the interests of the lowest paid worker take a back seat to those of union bosses,” Enzi cautioned.The so-called “Employee Free Choice Act,” would not only require the imposition of a workplace union, based solely on signed authorization cards, it would radically alter the longstanding process of collective-bargaining and set aside traditional remedies used to resolve differences between workers and employers. It also would end standards in place for over 70 years used to compensate parties who suffer damages as a result of strikes or other disputes. Enzi urged the House to reject the bill noting that: “Majority rule, free speech, and the use of the ballot box to decide important issues are not principles that should be thrown away to satisfy special interest groups. No matter how this legislation is packaged, at its core, it simply takes away an individual’s right to vote. That is a dangerous road we shouldn’t travel.” ####

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