Last year, voters in Arizona approved Proposition 113, a state constitutional amendment drafted by the Goldwater Institute to protect every worker’s right to a secret-ballot vote if they are asked to join a union. Voters in South Carolina, South Dakota, and Utah also added this protection to their state constitutions last year, and more states are signing up this year.
But the National Labor Relations Board wants to take that protection away, and it has filed a federal lawsuit to strike down Prop. 113. The Goldwater Institute had pledged to defend this law and the right to vote by secret ballot if it was challenged, and I am happy to report that we are fulfilling that promise. The Institute has gone to federal court on behalf of dozens of individuals – construction workers, nurses, and teachers – to stop the NLRB and keep this important protection in place for workers in Arizona and any state that passes this law.
The right to a secret ballot is one of the most sacred principles of American democracy. But that right is under attack by an out-of-control federal agency that would expose workers to coercion or intimidation when they are trying to decide if they should join a union.
The NLRB under President Barack Obama is quickly becoming a rogue agency. It has taken action to prevent Boeing from opening a new facility in South Carolina, claiming the airplane manufacturer is retaliating against unions. If a company can’t choose where to locate a facility, it has lost its economic freedom. And if workers can’t voluntarily choose whether to form a union, they have lost their freedom of association.
The Goldwater Institute will continue to stand up for the rights of all workers threatened by the actions of the NLRB.
Clint Bolick is director of the Goldwater Institute’s Scharf-Norton Center for Constitutional Litigation.
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