Contributed by Peyton Knight
Washington, D.C. - A majority of American voters say they would have been less likely to vote for President-elect Barack Obama if they had known he supported controversial legislation that would eliminate workers' right to a secret ballot in union elections, according to an exclusive post-election poll conducted by ATI-News and Zogby International.
One of Obama's campaign promises was to push for controversial legislation, misleadingly dubbed the "Employee Free Choice Act," which would eliminate workers' right to a secret ballot when voting on whether or not to form a union.Â The promise helped Obama win the crucial support of union chiefs.
However, what is popular with Big Labor bosses is not popular with American voters and even rank-and-file union employees.
When ATI-News/Zogby asked voters if they had known "about Barack Obama's support for a Congressional bill to outlaw workers' rights to a secret ballot in union elections," 54 percent of voters said they would have been "less likely to vote for Obama," and only seven percent said they would have been "more likely to vote for Obama" (33 percent said it would have made "no difference" in their vote and 6 percent were "not sure").
Surprisingly, even 27 percent of those who voted for Obama said they would have been less likely to do so, while only 11 percent said they would have been more likely (51 percent said "no difference" and 11 percent "not sure").Â In addition, a majority of union members (53 percent) would have been less likely to vote for Obama if they had known about his support for banning secret ballots in union elections.
"One of the main reasons the Big Three automakers are in dire financial straits, and begging for a taxpayer bailout, is because their lucrative union contracts have bled them dry," said ATI-News president Brad O'Leary.Â "Rather than reform their companies, they want to unionize their more successful competitors and drag them down in the red ink with them."
If Obama and the Democratic Congress succeed in banning secret ballots in union elections, experts agree that it would make it very easy for Big Labor bosses across all sectors to use intimidation and other questionable tactics to organize unions.
"Americans know that the secret ballot is a sacred cornerstone of free and democratic elections," said O'Leary.Â "It's sadly ironic that President-elect Obama - he, himself, elected President by secret ballot - would now strip American workers of this sacred right."