Employee Freedom Week
It’s employee freedom week. That means groups around the nation are educating employees about freedoms they have to opt out of union membership. Unfortunately for Missouri public-sector union employees, these freedoms are limited.
For most Missouri public employees, unionization is a one-way trip. Once employees elect to have a union represent thier interests in negotiations with management, no further elections are scheduled, no term limits are imposed, and the union stays in power indefinitely. Workers are usually stuck with the results of that original election, even if their representative fails to provide the services it promised. New employees will be forced to accept a representative for whom they never voted.
Recently, some have questioned whether employees should be subject to this one man, one vote, one time system. Why not hold elections at regular intervals?
Regular union elections would give public employees the right to vote for a union for a fixed term. When that term ended, the union could choose to run for re-election. Other unions might also offer their services and run against the incumbent union.
Proponents of regular elections argue that competition among unions will breed innovation and accountability. At the very least, regular elections help keep the actions of unions in line with the interests of voters. With union elections, workers could choose to keep their union, elect a new union, or forego a unionized workplace altogether. Workers would no longer be bound to a union that was put into power years before they were hired. In addition, worries of unaccountable unions squandering dues on things that don’t benefit workers would be greatly reduced. If members didn’t like the way their union was run, the next election would offer the opportunity to make a change.
The power to choose who speaks for you is a fundamental freedom. Regular union elections preserve this freedom for employees, and I can’t think of a better time to promote union elections than during national employee freedom week.