Friday, November 06, 2009

Rep. Kline Upset With Using Democracy For Workers

Representative John Kline (R-MN) has been an out-spoken opponent of the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA). Kline has framed this issue as one of protecting us from tyrannies that use secret ballots. “There are sacred principles that epitomize American democracy,” wrote Rep. John Kline (R-MN), attacking EFCA. He's even gone so far as to introduce a 'secret ballot protection act'. Yet now that the National Mediation Board (NMB) is proposing a rule change to the Railway Labor Act (RLA) to make elections more democratic, John Kline has decided democracy isn't all it's cracked up to be...

The AFL-CIO has petitioned for change that could possibly have a big impact on companies with non-union workers. The proposed change would overturn an old rule in place for decades (1934) that counts those employees not voting in union elections as “no” votes. Under the new proposal, those who don't vote would simply not be counted at all...just like in any other official election in America...Can't get more democratic then that!

Rep. John Kline issued a release that called it a radical proposal that adds “to a troubling perception that federal agencies have embraced a culture of union favoritism.” Hmm...interesting if we extend that to CD2 voters, then can we say...everyone who doesn't vote is a 'no' vote for Kline...if that's the case my wish has come true! Really that's radical...not the notion of counting only those that cast votes.

By his stance on this issue, Kline shows us that it's not really democracy he's supporting (can you say union-busting?). All along John Kline has asked that voting being more democratic, but now that Kline has an opportunity to support a truly democratic voting method, he opposes it.

The proposed rule change doesn't count a vote for one side or another when it's not cast. This rule change will go a long way to help Americans revive the economy and rebuild the middle class, by empowering workers to bargain for better wages and benefits. But it would seem that instead of democracy, John Kline shows us he supports greedy CEOs and anti-union front groups while tearing down those would want to bargain fairly for better wages.