Cheney spurns bill in speech to NAM

By Plant Engineering Staff February 15, 2007

In a speech Wednesday to the National Association of Manufacturers , Vice President Dick Cheney vowed to uphold democracy in America’s workplaces by opposing‘card check’ legislation.

“Our administration rejects any attempt to short-circuit the rights of workers,” Cheney said.

The NAM applauded his comments and urged the House Education & Labor Committee to reject H.R. 800, the so-called “Employee Free Choice Act ,” during its scheduled markup Wednesday.

“The legislation would eliminate employees’ freedom to choose whether union membership is right for them and their families in private,” said Jason Straczewski, the NAM’s director of human resources policy.

“This legislation does nothing to promote the well-being of manufacturers’ greatest asset: their employees. All it does is take away freedom of choice,” Straczewski said. “The NAM objects to any proposal that increases the potential for coercion and intimidation in the workplace.”

H.R. 800 was recently introduced by Congressman George Miller (D-CA). The legislation would strip away employees’ freedom to choose whether or not they want union representation in a private, secret ballot election.

“The American labor movement has a proud history and has long reflected a basic principle of our democracy: fair elections, as decided by secret ballots,” Cheney said.

“It can hardly be considered‘free choice’ when a labor union is dictating the organizing campaign and collecting only the signatures they need,” Straczewski said. “Do the choices of those workers who are not asked to sign a card not matter? That is the precise reason for the secret ballot.”