Sources: Coalition for a Democratic Workplace, Washington, D.C.; CP staff
A new Coalition for a Democratic Workplace (CDW) report, “Online Voting in Union Representation Elections: The Latest Attempt to Eliminate Workers’ Right to Secret Ballots,” highlights the perils of the National Labor Relations Board implementing electronic means for collective bargaining unit members to cast ballots in organizing campaigns. It calls on Congress to reject a House FY 2023 appropriations bill provision for the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services requiring the Board to craft a system for conducting union representation elections online.
“The provision is the latest attempt in a two-decade-long effort by unions and their allies in government to eliminate secret ballots,” says CDW Chair Kristen Swearingen. “Secret ballots are a fundamental right in any democracy and provide voters with the ability to vote their conscience without influence from others, but if unions get their way and this provision is passed into law, workers will be forced to vote for or against union representation with union organizers and coworkers standing over their shoulders, pressuring them to support the union. Eliminating secret ballots would be a gross violation of workers’ privacy.”
“Electronic voting is a system ripe for coercion, intimidation, and harassment, and makes it impossible for the NLRB to safeguard the election,” she continues. “Moreover, as the report notes, the National Mediation Board, several states, and various foreign countries have all shelved online voting programs because of costs and cybersecurity concerns. For these reasons, the Supreme Court, other federal courts, and the NLRB itself have all recognized that secret ballots are the best method for determining the will of the workers.”
CDW represents 400-plus business or trade organization members, including the American Concrete Pressure Pipe Association, National Precast Concrete Association, National Ready Mixed Concrete Association and Portland Cement Association.