Dick Morris writes in his Nov. 23 Newsmax column that President Obama "is moving to implement, through executive action, two of the most controversial items in his 2010 agenda — a carbon tax and pollution permit system and a ban on the use of secret ballots in union elections." But the latter case Morris is referring wouldn't ban secret ballots.
Morris is referring to a 2007 case involving the Dana Corp., which Morris misleadingly claims "mandates secret ballots in unionization elections." That's false. As the Society for Human Resource Management details, the National Labor Relations Board's decision in the Dana case created a provision that allowed workers to call for a secret-ballot election to decertify a union whose bargaining unit was established through the card-check process within 45 days of that establishment. The NLRB has agreed to review the ruling. The SHRM continues:
Dana overturned almost 40 years of precedent, Waxman remarked, noting that one of the dissenters to Dana, Wilma Liebman, now is chairwoman of the Board.
Under the old rule before Dana, if there was voluntary recognition, that was the end of it and there would be no election, Leslie Silverman, an attorney at Proskauer Rose in Washington, D.C., and a member of the SHRM Labor Relations Special Expertise Panel, added.
“The grant of review is a clear signal of the Board’s interest in reversing precedent,” said John Raudabaugh, an attorney with Nixon Peabody in Washington, D.C., and a member of the SHRM Labor Relations Special Expertise Panel.
Writing a concurrence to the grant of review, Liebman responded that “the decision to revisit long-established legal rules in Dana itself was premised on the Dana majority’s belief that ‘changing conditions in the labor relations environment can sometimes warrant a renewed scrutiny of extant doctrine.’ That belief is surely correct. Whether the Dana Board’s ultimate policy choice was correct or not, the decision, by its own terms, cannot stand for the proposition that the Board rules are meant to last forever.”
What Morris appears to be describing is the Employee Free Choice Act, but he's wrong about that too. That proposed law would not ban the use of secret ballots in union elections; it would give workers, instead of employers, the right to demand a secret ballot.