In what was, unfortunately, not an April Fools’ joke, last Friday the California Senate approved S.B. 104, an initiative which will enable union intimidation of workers and tilt the playing-field toward Big-Labor. The legislation passed on a party-line vote, with Senate Democrats carrying the day, 24-14.

The bill would legalize “Card Check,” a union election process which eliminates secret ballots at the whim of those employees wishing to unionize.  Although touted by the left as a great advance for workers’ rights (a failed federal version was the misleadingly named Employee Free Choice Act), Card Check is nothing of the sort. As the Alliance for Worker Freedom has previously reported, the absence of a secret ballot, as well as a requirement that employers furnish union organizers with the personal information of their employees (which S.B. 104 contains) invites union bosses to conduct elections with all the grace and legality of the SEIU.

It is all the more befuddling that many supporters of Card Check so recently lobbied the National Mediation Board to implement a “minority rule” in transportation-sector elections; this was on the grounds that the change would make certification votes akin to standard congressional elections.  If these progressives were at all consistent in their positions, a secret ballot would be sacrosanct, being the gold-standard of democratic parity. Of course, parity is not the goal of the unions, nor of the politicians they spend millions to elect: their endgame is total control of the American workforce by union interests.   

California, once one of the most prosperous states in the union, has quickly undergone a self-imposed transition to debt-ridden bankruptcy, its legislators repeatedly turning a blind eye to harsh economic realities. Job-killing environmental policies, unreformed entitlements, and deluxe public employee benefits, paid for by ever-higher taxes, have made the Golden State a bad place to do business.  That California’s Democrats should make union empowerment a priority instead of tackling actual problems exposes their real operating principle here: when Leftist policies put you in a hole, say “what hole?” and keep digging.