Viewpoint / Jim Gilmore


If Barack Obama is elected President this fall, and the Democrats get a filibuster-proof Senate as they hope to do with the election of Democrat Mark Warner, one of the first casualties of the new Obama administration may well be Virginias historic Right to Work law.

The AFL-CIO and liberal Democrats allied with Big Labor are making it known that one of their major goals following the 2008 election is the enactment of the so-called Employee Free Choice Act, which would strip workers of the right to vote by secret ballot on whether or not to join a union. The legislation would also leave workers subject to threats and intimidation by union organizers.

If this legislation which Mark Warner supports becomes law, workers in Virginia and across the nation will no longer have control over their employment. For one thing, without a secret ballot they will lose control over whether they have to belong to a union. Under this legislation, many workers would not even know a union organizing campaign was underway something I do not believe can be tolerated.

The legislation would mandate compulsory binding arbitration, would provide excessively punitive penalties that apply only to employers and not to unions and would deny working Virginians and other workers across the country the opportunity to express their opinions about union recognition.

Like many long-standing liberal ideas that have been offered by Barack Obama and Mark Warner, including the continued restriction of Americas domestic oil production, this idea is one whose time has passed. In fact, the card check idea was used for union organizing in the 1940s but was abandoned as a failure.

The Employee Free Choice Act, if enacted, would strip away workers privacy and workers rights and would undermine Virginias long standing tradition of Right to Work.  That is unacceptable to me and certainly should be unacceptable to the vast majority of working Virginians.   

Jim Gilmore, Virginias attorney general from 1994 to 1998 and governor from 1998 to 2002, is a Republican candidate for the Senate seat being vacated by retiring Sen. John Warner (R).