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3100 Companies, Including Wal-Mart, Sign Letter To Congress Opposing EFCA By Brian Beutler –
May 14, 2009, 5:51PM Over 3000 members of the nearly three million-member strong Chamber of Commerce have sent a letter (PDF) to Congress expressing “strong opposition to the Employee Free Choice Act.” EFCA has three provisions, each of which we oppose. The first provision would require union recognition based on authorization cards signed by a majority of employees. This provision would allow organizing to be conducted in secret, would effectively eliminate the secret ballot election, and would hinder or even eliminate an employer’s ability to tell its side of the story and correct misleading union rhetoric. Card check recognition also would effectively disenfranchise employees who oppose unionization and, as courts have repeatedly recognized, is inherently less reliable than traditional election processes for determining whether employees wish to have union representation. The second provision would enable a union seeking a first contract to require the employer to enter into binding interest arbitration if a collective bargaining agreement were not reached within as little as 130 days…. The third provision would significantly increase penalties on employers for certain violations of labor laws. That’s just about every provision of the bill. On the one hand, 3100 signatories represents a very, very small percentage of the Chamber’s members. On the other hand, there are a lot of big names on this list, including General Electric and, crucially, Wal-Mart. And there’s little doubt that the business community is pulling out all the stops on EFCA. On the third hand, the letter itself runs one page, and the list of signatories goes on for 30 more. And that strikes me as a huge waste of paper.
When workers are free to choose to join a union, our economy can work for everyone again. That’s why we need the Employee Free Choice Act—a bill in Congress that would help level the playing field and give workers the freedom to choose a union.
The Employee Free Choice Act:
- Helps America’s working families improve their standard of living. Workers in unions earn 30 percent higher wages and are 59 percent more likely to have employer-provided health insurance.
- Fixes a broken system that gives corporations far too much power. When workers try and organize unions, they are often harassed and intimidated; 25 percent of companies unlawfully fire pro-union workers.
- Restores fairness and the promise of the American Dream, with a robust middle class, economic growth, and shared prosperity.
It’s time our economy worked for everyone again. It’s time for the Employee Free Choice Act.
Just this week, Chamber CEO Thomas Donohue said that he wasn’t sure whether global warming was real. And he predicted that unless Congress passes a major rollback of the Clean Air Act that the Chamber is pushing, “then we are in deep s*** as a country.”4