The Employee Free Choice Act is organized labor leaders’ highest priority this year. However, it doesn’t seem that union members share the same sentiment. Recent public opinion data shows that even among union households 74 percent are opposed to the bill and 73 percent of Obama voters are opposed the EFCA. The vast majority of Americans and even union workers feel that a worker’s vote should be kept private in a union organizing election. The best way to avoid coercion and intimidation in the workplace is by keeping worker’s decision whether or not to form a union private.
Despite labor unions unprecedented engagement in the 2008 elections and their strong calls for support of the bill, the Employee Free Choice Act has still not been introduced in Congress. Despite the February 3, 2009 cut off for original co-sponsors, “Dear Colleague” letters requesting additional sign-ons are circulating around Capitol Hill. Although President Obama has been staunch advocate of the measure, calling for its passage on the campaign trail, he has refrained from calling upon Congress to move quickly on passing the bill.
In light of this, union leaders have engaged in an expensive public relations campaign in order to gain more support of the bill. Union leaders have presented a petition with just over 1.5 million signatories. However, this doesn’t even represent 10 percent of America’s 16.1 million union members. Union groups are even overestimating the turnout of a recent rally on Capitol Hill.
EFCA supporters are not only facing a problem in getting support from Congress, but they’re facing a bigger problem in getting support from their own members. Labor leaders are urging action on a bill that even the majority of their own members are opposed to.