Big-picture commentary by Bernie Marcus, founder and first CEO of Home Depot, in today’s Wall Street Journal, “Bad Labor Law Is a Path to Economic Ruin.” And it’s a wake-up call to employers:
I recently said that America “would become France” if a certain bill now in Congress — which would virtually guarantee that every company becomes unionized — ever became law. Deceptively named the Employee Free Choice Act, this bill would in most cases take away an employee’s right to a secret ballot in a union election and give unions the option to have federal arbitrators set the wages, benefits, hours and all other terms and conditions of employment.
To my astonishment, most CEOs in America are unaware of this planned hostile takeover of their human resources. I am retired, so this is not business for me. It’s strictly personal. I care deeply about the competitiveness of American companies and our system of free enterprise.
Coincidently, we caught up with an old a friend over the weekend, a politically attuned person involved in day-to-day operations in the (labor-intensive) wholesale produce business. He had never heard of card check, found it hard to believe the bill had a chance of passing, and after checking with his boss, found that he, too, was unfamiliar with the Employee Free Choice Act.
It’s time to stand up and fight. America’s competitiveness, jobs and right to a secret ballot are at stake. CEOs, employees who want to keep their jobs in America — and those retirees like me who would not be where we are today but for our system of free enterprise — must stop this anti-democratic legislation.