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Dick Cheney's Bizarre “Support” For Unions

Reported by Ellen - May 13, 2009 -

Guest blogged by Brian

Continuing with his (as Alan Colmes calls it) “Save My Legacy” tour, Dick Cheney visited Your World with Neil Cavuto yesterday, 5/12/09. Cheney insisted he is not anti-union, citing an earlier membership in the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. But in his next breath, Cheney falsely claimed the Employee Free Choice Act would eliminate secret ballots “in terms of the question of organizing unions.” Then Cheney went on to praise Ronald Reagan's firing of every striking air traffic controller in 1981. I'd hate to know what Cheney's version of anti-union looks like. With video.

During the second of a two-part interview on Your World, Cheney said, "I'm not anti-labor union. I carried a ticket for six years in the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers in my youth... I do think the legislation that the administration's supporting and that the unions are pushing hard, the so called 'card check' law would do away with the secret ballot in terms of the question of organizing unions. I think it would be a huge mistake."

As The Christian Science Monitor reported (H/T Media Matters), the Employee Free Choice Act does not “do away with the secret ballot.” It gives workers a choice of forming a union through majority sign-up (“card check”) or an election by secret ballot.

Cavuto did not challenge Cheney's assertion but moved on to another question. “Jack Welch said they would be deleterious to our economic recovery. Do you agree?"

Cheney answered, "I always felt that what Ronald Reagan did back in 1981... when he was very tough with the air traffic controllers was a good solid move.”

Good solid move? As Politico reports, Reagan fired 11,000 striking air traffic controllers. He also imposed a lifetime ban on rehiring the strikers. In October 1981, the Federal Labor Relations Authority decertified their union.

It's hard to think of anything more anti-union than firing 11,000 striking workers, decertifying their union and banning them from behing rehired. But, predictably, Cavuto didn't question Cheney's assertion..