Day by Day



11 March 2009

Political will...

Congress has a lot of ideas, some of them are even their own and a couple are good ones. The following is neither. At the behest of large unions, notably Andy Stern's SEICU, Congress is proposing the worst labor legislation ever. The most notable aspect is the elimination of the secret ballot for determining representation. What is more disturbing is the shortening of the time for decisions about organizing, which hamstrings business' ability to offer a counter campaign.

There are many reasons in some industries to organize. However, union organization rarely results in improved flexibility or innovation. Most of the very troubled industries in the United States (auto makers, transportation, textiles and heavy manufacturing) were clobbered by burdensome union demands and a lack of flexibility. As a consequence we have seen a mass exodus of these industries form the United States and those that remain are (in some cases) barely functional.

Unions have had a profound and positive effect on the nation's workforce. There is no doubt that they played a critical role in the development of strong worker safety rules and the elimination of child labor. However, like many institutions, they have stagnated and become political elements unto themselves. They are less concerned about the welfare of their constituents and more focused on amassing political power and setting agendas in line with their worldview.

I work daily in a unionized setting. My relationship with the union leadership is good and I respect their commitment to the coworkers. However, I know that their non-union counterparts enjoy more opportunity and benefits along with the same protections and security. Unionizing will not stop a plant form closing or a business from leaving the country. It may, in fact, accelerate the decline of that business in the global arena. If you are so inclined, I urge you to comment on this issue to your elected representatives.
The Employee Free Choice Act was introduced in both the House of Representatives and the Senate today.

Despite Senate Democrats' failure to secure 60 votes in favor of the bill, the battle over EFCA has begun. And as we have heard from so many of you, our economy can not afford a defeat.

As you know, union leaders want to change the rules of how unions are recognized by encouraging legislators to do away with the proven practice of holding free and fair secret ballot elections. H.R. 1409 was introduced in the House moments ago and will drop in the Senate soon.


Our efforts have been successful so far, causing the bill's delay. In addition, this weekend Sen. McCaskill acknowleged that support in the Senate for EFCA is diminishing.



Tell your Senators to vote against cloture on the bill. A vote for cloture--to limit the amount of time to consider the bill--is a vote in favor of EFCA.

It's apparent that our opposition to this bill is gaining traction, and your input is more important than ever.

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