Bill Would Rob Workers of Secret-Ballot Election
Washington, D.C. – Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) announced its vehement opposition to the misnamed Employee Free Choice Act of 2009, or “card check” legislation, introduced today by Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) in the U.S. Senate and Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.) in the U.S. House of Representatives.
The Employee Free Choice Act would remove the long-standing requirement that guarantees workers their fundamental American right to a secret-ballot election when they are deciding whether or not to join a union. Under the “card check” proposal, employees would be forced to indicate their choice of whether to join a union by signing a card in front of their co-workers, employers and union organizers, opening the door to coercion and intimidation and depriving them of the freedom to make an honest, private decision.
Furthermore, the bill would subject businesses to binding interest arbitration, where government appointed arbitrators would establish a two-year contract setting all work rules for that business. Neither a company’s employees nor owner would have the opportunity to approve or appeal this decision.
“There is no justification for any member of Congress to support this legislation at any time, but endorsing this job-killing legislation is especially hard to understand in light of the current economic downturn,” said 2009 ABC National Chairman Jerry Gorski, president of Gorski Engineering, Inc., Collegeville, Pa. “ABC is committed to fighting this deceptively titled bill with all its resources in order to protect the rights of the nation’s merit shop construction workers.”
According to a new study released last week by noted economist Dr. Anne Layne-Farrar, the Employee Free Choice Act would negatively impact the landscape of the U.S. economy, increasing unemployment and stifling job growth for all Americans.
The study, An Empirical Assessment of the Employee Free Choice Act: The Economic Implications, found that passage of this bill would lead to the loss of 600,000 jobs within a year. Jobs losses directly attributed to the passage of card check legislation would be equal to the entire population of Boston or 75 percent of San Francisco.
About Associated Builders and Contractors
Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) is a national association representing 25,000 merit shop construction and construction-related firms in 79 chapters across the United States. Visit us at www.abc.org.