In a stunning reversal, the anti-labor Wall Street Journal editorial page admitted today that one of the key messages in Big Business’s fight against the Employee Free Choice Act is false. “The bill doesn’t remove the secret-ballot option from the National Labor Relations Act,” wrote the WSJ editors today.
The acknowledgment by the WSJ that the legislation doesn’t eliminate the option of a secret-ballot election is surprising given that it has been one of the most aggressive pushers of the false meme:
— “Democrats in the House passed the Employee Free Choice Act, a measure that rewrites the rules for union organizing by eliminating secret-ballot elections.” [WSJ, 3/8/07]
— “Labor wants to trash the secret-ballot elections that have been in place since the 1930s.” [WSJ, 10/17/08]
— “Mr. Pryor knew the GOP would block the bill, which gets rid of secret ballots in union elections.” [WSJ, 1/2/09]
— “Big Labor’s drive to eliminate secret ballots for union elections has united American business in opposition.” [WSJ, 3/11/09]
Just this past weekend, the Wall Street Journal’s editors repeatedly claimed on their Fox News show that the bill was an effort “to eliminate the secret ballot in union elections.” Watch it:
As ThinkProgress has previously noted, the Employee Free Choice Act preserves workers’ rights to secret balloting. However, it also gives workers the option to form a union through a “card-check” system, in which a union would be recognized if a majority of workers signed a petition testifying to their desire to organize. This means that workers get to choose the union formation process — elections or majority sign-up.