Friday, December 12, 2008

Card check and the bailout 

Paul Mirengoff and Ed Morrissey write about Sen. Jim DeMint and the fight over card check. Arlen Specter, Demint expects, will break rank with the Republicans and vote for the bill. If Norm Coleman succeeds in hanging on to his seat -- more on that in a bit -- Specter's defection means no one else can be split off.

DeMint emphasizes that EFCA contains not only card check but a noxious provision that has a government agency write labor contracts when the new union and the company cannot agree. Mirengoff calls this "well down the road to Socialism."
Indeed, DeMint tied the Employee Free Choice Act to various bailout programs, especially the one for the auto industry, which will also enhance the government's control over the economy while protecting the UAW. Through legislation like the auto industry package and the Employee Free Choice Act, the Democrats see, simultaneously to bail out unions, a key political ally, and increase government control over the economy.
One place it would potentially give control is for unions negotiating with foreign firms. In this morning's Political Diary from the Wall Street Journal (subscriber's link), Holman Jenkins makes this case as well.
[UAW head Ron] Gettelfinger didn�t quite say so, but card check is also part of Big Labor�s increasingly hopeless strategy to preserve its Big Three pay levels. The idea is to drive up wage and benefit costs at Toyota, Nissan and other transplants. Card check is key. The UAW has racked up a goose egg in 20 years of trying to organize the foreign-owned plants, and Detroit's recent troubles are not exactly a big advertisement to workers in Tennessee or Alabama to welcome the UAW. Whether even card check would help is doubtful in any case. But certainly a process that continues to rely on a secret ballot free from intimidation is unlikely to advance the UAW�s cause.
Specter was one of ten GOP senators to vote yes on the auto bailout bill. Three others were lame ducks (Dole, Domenici and Warner.) If the bailout bill was a test vote for the card check debate, the future isn't too bright. If used this way, foreign investment into the US would fall.

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