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George McGovern Goes After Unions

4:11 PM, Oct 7, 2008 • By MARY KATHARINE HAM
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In an ad set to run during the debate tonight, McGovern takes aim at legislation that would deprive potential labor union members of private votes on union organization. The longtime liberal blasts "card check" as tantamount to a "sacrifice of democracy," saying working people deserve a private vote.

The Employee Free Choice Act (which involves neither freedom nor choice..discuss) would make it possible for employees to unionize by simply signing a card instead of by secret ballot, opening the door to bullying and arm-twisting of those voting "no" at the hands of union bosses, both before and after a vote succeeds.

Democrats, licking their chops at the prospects of controlling the Senate, House and Presidency, would like to reward the labor unions with such a measure, which would constitute the biggest change in labor laws since the 1940s.

Unions, faltering in the face of falling memberships, have been pushing EFCA for several years during the Bush administration, gaining ground slowly, but always falling short of the 60-vote threshold in the Senate needed for an up-or-down vote. Even if the act had passed both houses, it would surely have met with a Bush veto.

Many will be surprised by McGovern's reasonable take on this issue, as a self-proclaimed supporter of unions, but Dave Weigel reminds us that of late, McGovern's liberalism hasn't been what it used to be.

In this case, McGovern is exactly what unions claim to be, but often aren't in practice- pro-worker.