As I pounded the pavement the past couple of days promoting NEMA and its activities on Capitol Hill, I couldnt help but marvel at the sheer amount of buzz about the misnamed Employee Free Choice Act, (EFCA; HR 1409/S 560) that specter which threatens to kill the use of secret ballot in union elections and allow federal arbitrators to impose employment conditions on Americas businesses. I heard about card check in congressional offices, in the hallways, and yes, even while enjoying a sandwich in the cafeteria. Why is this bill overshadowing so many other important issues facing our country? Well, for union organizers, this is a payback issue for delivering big electoral gains for sympathetic lawmakers in 2006 and 2008 and they see card check as a way to bolster dwindling membership rosters. For the rest of usindustry, small businesses, and an overwhelming majority of Americansthis is about protecting the rights of employees so they are not intimidated in making decisions about joining labor unions. It is about ensuring that employers and employees, not the federal government, set contract and employment terms. It is about protecting those jobs we have and ensuring that new jobs will be created.
Members of Congress are feeling the pinch previous supporters of EFCA are rethinking their positions in light of the current economic crisis. They are hearing from business owners and employees about the devastating consequences enactment of this bill would have on our economy, and they are listening. NEMAs voice is being heard and yours will be, too.