…because if big labor gets its way, they will not be protected by the secret ballot at work.

Today the Wall Street Journal has a front page story on management efforts to educate employees on what would happen to Wal-Mart if liberal majorities in Congress and the White House passed the “Employee Free Choice Act.” Want to know what the Employee Free Choice Act actually does? Well if your hoping the WSJ will tell you, be patient. The WSJ waits until far after the jump, in the 20th paragraph to tell us what the legislation in question does: “Under the proposed legislation, companies could no longer have the right to insist on one secret ballot. Instead, the Free Choice, or ‘card check,’ legislation would let unions form if more than 50% of workers simply sign a card saying they want to join.”

The left is now hyperventilating because they claim the WSJ article shows Wal-Mart is pressuring employees to vote for John McCain. Leaving aside the fact, that it is completely legal for employers to disseminate information about candidates’ voting records and positions on issues, doesn’t the left see any contradiction in complaining about “pressure” from Wal-Mart to vote the right way, when they are advocating a law that would remove the only protection employees have from union organizer “pressure.”

When organizers solicit union cards, they visit workers’ homes in groups and put them on the spot with high-pressure tactics. They only give one side of the story and ask workers to commit immediately. If a worker does not sign the card, they return again and again until the worker does. According to a Zogby poll, 71 percent of union members believe that the current private-ballot process is fair, versus only 13 percent who disagree. Fully 78 percent of union members favor keeping the current system in place over replacing it with one that provides less privacy.

The premise of collective bargaining is that by representing all employees a union can negotiate a better collective contract than each worker could get through individual negotiations. But because the union negotiates collectively, the same contract covers every worker, regardless of his or her productivity or effort.

In the manufacturing economy of the 1930s, this worked reasonably well. In today’s knowledge economy, however, collective representation makes little sense. Employers now want employees with individual insights and abilities. As the WSJ documents the percentage of the U.S. private sector work force in a union has been plummeting for decades. America simply does not need unions any more.