Union President Agrees That Union Elections Lead to Greater Accountability
Bradley Harmon, president of CWA Local 6355—a union representing state government employees—recently testified before a legislative committee against a union election bill. Although he was there to offer his opposition to the bill, he ended up admitting that the elections he opposes actually make unions more accountable to the workers they represent. See the clip, recorded by Progress Missouri, above.
Holding elections for government unions is one of the most exciting labor reforms discussed in Missouri right now. Currently, if you work for the government and you’re represented by a union, you’re pretty much stuck with that union. If you can organize, gather signatures, and then win a “decertification” election, you may force the union out. But barring this, government employees, like teachers, social workers, and firefighters, are pretty much “married for life.”
Holding regular union elections addresses this issue. When employees of public institutions get the option to vote for their representatives every few years, union representatives are forced to be accountable to their members. When workers get a vote, a union executive’s job depends on representing workers well.