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On January 20, 2009 a new Democratic presidential administration will be sworn into office along with solid Democratic majorities in the House and Senate. The leaders in the legislative and executive branches of our Federal government will be in a position of power to pass whatever legislative agenda they see fit.
They might be able to do much good.
But their allegiance and dependence on Organized Labor is legend, and their pledge to union bosses to pass the Employee Free Choice Act during the first 100 days of this new administration is of great concern to Associated Builders and Contractors and those who champion merit shop employment.
To counter this liberal agenda, you should know that ABC is working hard to protect your rights, your right to operate as a merit employer and your employees rights to work in a merit shop environment.
One of the first items on president-elect Obama’s agenda will most likely be the repeal of President Bush’s Executive Order 13202 that banned union-only project labor agreements on federally funded projects. He will undoubtedly replace it with his own executive order either mandating or recommending the use of union-only project labor agreements for these same projects.
This means less competition, less business for merit employers, and more cost to the taxpayer.
To further support this effort and reverse the shrinking number of union member workers, Congressional leaders have pledged to bring the union-backed Employee Free Choice Act up for an immediate vote. Also known as “EFCA” or more accurately called “Card Check” this proposed law would do away with secret-ballot elections when determining whether or not a group of employees want to organize under a union.
Card Check is NO CHOICE for employees and employers.
You might wonder how Card Check will work. How could they do this? As many employers have never faced a union organizing threat, it is important to contrast this new proposal with current conditions.
Under current law a union attempting to organize a workforce can demand a secret-ballot election when it gets 30% of the eligible workers to sign a representation card. The union organizer takes these cards to the National Labor Relations Board and demands a secret-ballot election. Typically the NLRB is able to conduct these elections within a few months time - and unions win nearly 60% of the time!
Now, in the intervening weeks leading up to the election, the employer AND the union have the opportunity to educate employees about the facts of working union and the impact on their employer.
Jumping ahead, consider your business is a target of a Card Check campaign. If the union organizer gets just 50%+1 of your employees in a unit of your company to sign these cards YOU NOW HAVE A UNION.
No ifs, no ands, no buts. No campaign exposing the truth of union work rules or unfunded benefit programs. No rebuttal to a union guarantee of job security, high wages and paid benefits. No factual comparison of company benefits and success operating merit. No secret-ballot election. And like management, the other 49% of your workforce will have no opportunity to even participate in the decision. It is indeed the Employee NO Choice Act.
Organizers can follow and harass employees all they want to secure these cards. Outside of your parking lot… in the grocery store… at church... at a little league game or bowling alley.
Once signed the signatures are GOOD FOR ONE YEAR from the date of signature and cannot be revoked.
Would union organizers use coercion, pressure and threats of violence by the unions?
If history is any judge, the answer is YES.
If this wasn’t bad enough, once the NLRB declares you have become a union employer, your ability to bargain a fair contract with the union is very limited. If you do not agree to their demands, the negotiation goes to mediation then to a federal arbitrator who has the power to impose a union contract on you for two years!
Imagine a federal employee deciding what your employee wages and benefits will be for 2 years...
It has not uncommon for the union organizers to claim employers have committed unfair labor practices (ULP) during the elections and contract negotiations, for such routine and seemingly innocent decisions to terminate employees for valid business reasons or even discuss the subject of unions with your employees.
Card Check sets ULP fines at $20,000 per instance, threatening almost confiscatory penalties on your business to “encourage” you to agree to union terms.
By the way, if the NLRB decides that an employer is closing a business to avoid a union contact it would be considered an unfair labor practice.
CARD CHECK IS A REAL THREAT THAT NEEDS TO BE TAKEN SERIOUSLY!!! Associated Builders and Contractors is working on your behalf and the merit shop construction industry to counteract this push by Big Labor. But your help is vital!
To help educate you and other employers, ABC is conducting “Preparing for Card Check” seminars in Central Florida and around the state. The goal is to inform you as soon as possible what you can be doing now with your employees to counteract this measure.
ABC’s grassroots efforts will include working with other businesses, business groups and associations to draft resolutions against this legislation and get them signed by as many organizations as possible. This resolution will be given to Senators Mel Martinez and Bill Nelson and the Florida Congressional Delegation urging them to vote no against the so-called Employee Free Choice Act.
Finally, you can act TODAY by following this link to send an e-mail to your congressman, senators and Governor Crist with a strong message against these legislative efforts. Click here to go to VoterVoice to send your letter to Congress
This is just a small glimpse of some of the efforts to defeat Card Check by Associated Builders and Contractors. Please keep checking your emails and be on the lookout for information from ABC on how your local and state boards of directors can help you in this fight.
ABC’s staff is also available to come to your business to give a Card Check overview to your management staff.
If you have any questions or would like additional information please do not hesitate to contact ABC.