The advantage of a secret ballot election is that it allows each person to vote they way they really want, without threat of retaliation from either their fellow workers who support the union, or union thugs themselves.
It would be much easier for the unions if they could get rid of this rule, and periodically the unions push for a new rule that would simply require a majority of workers to "check off" a box on a signed card indicating their "desire" to have a union. They claim this would make it easier and less costly to organize, but it is an obvious attempt to bring anti-union voters out into the open where they can be "persuaded" to support the union.
With the new Democrat majority in the congress, the unions are pushing this rule again, and according to the AFL-CIO they have obtained the backing of the Democratic National Committee:
As the end of the 109th Congress approaches and we get set to reintroduce the Employee Free Choice Act, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) today threw its support behind the bill. The legislation would allow employees to freely choose whether to form unions by signing cards authorizing representation.
(Howard Dean says) By removing barriers to organizing unions, the Employee Free Choice Act would help ensure that more American workers are guaranteed their rights. I call on Congress to give bi-partisan support to the legislation and for the President to approve this critical bill.
The party of intimidation would of course want to remove "barriers" like privacy protections which prevent unions from threatening and coercing employees into "approving" their union buddies. The Democrats need strong unions because unions use compulsory dues to fund the DNC as well as providing direct contributions and in-kind advertising supporting democrats throughout the country.
VIrginia is still a right-to-work state, although we just elected a Senator who does not seem to adhere to that principle.
Approving this anti-democratic pro-coercion bill would be a sorry step for a new leadership who so far seems to only pay lip service to ending the so-called "culture of corruption". IT's not surprising Howard Dean supports this measure, he seems to have little love for the democratic system, having this week called for democrats in congress to reject the results of a democratic, duly certified election in Florida.
But what excuse would the rank-and-file democrats elected to congress have to endorse a measure designed to open up ordinary workers to intimidation and threats in order to force unions on them?