Johnson, Lynn file legislation to protect workers in their right to secret ballot

February25, 2009

Johnson, Lynn file legislation to protect workers in
their right to secret ballot

Secret Ballot Protection Act would
preserve the right to vote by secret ballot

(NASHVILLE) February 25, 2009 – Senator Jack Johnson (R-Franklin) and Representative Susan Lynn (R-Mt. Juliet) have filed legislation to protect the rights of employees in their right to secret ballot. The Secret Ballot Protection Act is an initiative that seeks to preserve the right of voting by secret ballot when it comes to deciding whether or not to elect an exclusive bargaining representative.

 “The Secret Ballot Protection Act is a counter measure to the Democrats’ dangerous card check legislation, which would subject employees to intimidation by making any vote public,” said the House sponsor of the legislation, Rep. Susan Lynn. “Unions are facing declining membership in other parts of the country, and are targeting Tennessee’s growing auto manufacturing base. The key to their formation is the ability to take away the right of secret ballot elections from employees subjecting them to intimidation by the union which controls the entire process.”

The bill, Senate Bill 1674 / House Bill 1916, defines the denial of secret-ballot elections as an unfair labor practice.  It also establishes penalties and civil remedies for violation.  The legislation does not apply to collective bargaining relationships already in existence before July 1, 2009.

“The right to a secret ballot is sacred whether it is in the voting booth or in the workplace,” added Johnson.  “This bill is consistent with our state’s Constitution and court decisions that provide that all elections in Tennessee shall be by a method guaranteeing ballot secrecy.”

“We are working diligently against the tide of a weakening economy to bring jobs to Tennessee by maintaining a business-friendly environment,” he continued.  “The card check system is not only un-democratic and un-American, but could hamper our ability to attract new business — or drive those who are already here out of the state.”

Johnson and Lynn said they expect to begin moving the legislation
within the next few weeks.

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