GOP blasts Miller's support for eliminating secret ballot in union organizing elections

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 16, 2009
Contact: Tom Swatzel (843) 222-7456

GEORGETOWN--The Georgetown County Republican Party today blasted Democrat Rep. Vida Miller for supporting a move by Big Labor bosses to strip employees of a secret ballot vote now guaranteed by federal law in union organizing elections.

Miller voted against a state House Resolution that expressed lawmakers' opposition to a proposed change in federal law that would eliminate the right of workers to have a secret ballot. The resolution opposing so-called "card check" legislation- under which a worker's vote on whether to unionize a workplace would be made public- passed the House Thursday 72 to 33, with only Democrats including Miller refusing to go on record opposing the union-backed scheme. Click here for House journal excerpt

"Since they gave thousands of dollars to her campaigns, Rep. Miller sided with union bosses who want to trample the privacy rights of workers and subject them to coercion and intimidation by union organizers. Polls show that even rank and file union households overwhelmingly oppose robbing workers of their secret ballot vote, but they can expect no help from Rep. Miller," Georgetown County Republican Party chairman Tom Swatzel said.

The resolution stated in part that legislators "find that so-called 'card check' legislation... is detrimental to the rights of South Carolina workers, is an offense against democratic principles, and urge all members of the South Carolina Congressional Delegation to support worker freedom by opposing the (legislation)."

First introduced in Congress in 2007, the misnamed "Employee Free Choice Act" would replace the current process of secret ballot union representation elections with a system called "card check", where workers sign cards authorizing union representation that would be made public to co-workers, union organizers, and their employer.

Unions have made the legislation a priority this year, while the National Right to Work Committee and business groups such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Federation of Independent Businesses have opposed it.

According to a McLaughlin & Associates national poll conducted in January, three out of four voters oppose the EFCA. Even among union households, 74 percent oppose the legislation with only 20 percent in support. The poll indicates strong bipartisan opposition to EFCA, with Republican and Democratic voters in opposition 77 and 73 percent respectively. Click here for poll details

"Rep. Miller stands not with most voters, most union households, or even most Democrats on the issue of protecting the privacy of a worker's ballot, but instead with union bosses she's beholden to and liberal Democrats like Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi who champion this anti-employee legislation," Swatzel said.

According to Miller's campaign finance reports, she has accepted contributions from the AFL-CIO, and Steel Workers, Longshoremen, and Auto Workers union officials.

The House resolution has been referred to the state Senate committee on Labor, Commerce and Industry for consideration.