Published March 11, 2010
The S.C. Legislature has passed a measure intended to protect secret balloting in union representation elections, which has been a topic of debate in Washington over the past year.
The Senate voted 33-9 Wednesday to pass a joint resolution that would establish a state constitutional amendment. That version also was endorsed Wednesday by the S.C. House on a 106-12 vote.
If enacted, voters would be asked if “the fundamental right of an individual to vote by secret ballot is guaranteed for a designation, a selection or an authorization for employee representation by a labor organization.” Approval would mean a change to the state constitution.
Business groups have been alarmed over moves in Washington that they say would make union certification elections open to union pressure, without the protection of a secret ballot. National labor groups say the controversy over the Employee Free Choice Act is exaggerated.
The S.C. office of the National Federation for Independent Business praised Wednesday’s Senate vote.
“Union bosses want to change the rules to make it easier for them to unionize small business,” said J.J. Darby, state director of NFIB/South Carolina.