Card Check: Testimonials

By March 26, 2009Labor Unions

The Bucks County, Pa., newspaper, The Intelligencer, reports relief on the part of an employer, hardly a Big Corporation, upon learning that Senator Arlen Specter will oppose cloture on the Employee Free Choice Act. From “Specter deals blow to union bill“:

When Jerry Kilhefner heard that Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter would not be supporting the Employee Free Choice Act, also known as “card check,” he felt a sense of relief.

Kilhefner owns Clover Contracting, a Milford company with 64 non-union employees that specializes in commercial carpentry.

“To put the employee in the middle of what is a battle right now between business and labor is unconscionable,” he said. “There are few things in the fiber of our country as contentious as taking away the privacy of a vote.”

Senate Democrats appear to be saying, “Phew!” Since cloture is now unlikely, perhaps organized labor will ease the pressure on them. From Politico, “Prospects dim for labor bill“:

Key Democrats fled from the Employee Free Choice Act on Wednesday, saying they couldn’t support the bill unless significant modifications were made, including some ardently opposed by labor unions.

The bill, as written, appears to have a slim chance of moving forward, and labor union supporters now fear it may be on hold until after next year’s midterm elections.

“I think it now begs for a compromise,” said Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.), an important moderate vote on the legislation, known as “card check” to its opponents.

No one wants to appear intransigent, and it’s not like business is massed in the streets shouting “No passaran!” But there’s simply no compromise or common-ground possible on the Employee Free Choice Act.

The elimination of the secrete balance is non-negotiable: Encouraging the intimidation of 70 percent instead of 50 percent of a workplace’s employees is certainly not a compromise. Binding arbitration so a government bureaucrat can impose wages, benefits and work rules on employers and employees? Catastrophical for competiveness and therefore unacceptable. Crushing penalties for violations? Those would used as a union weapon to bludgeon employers into submission.

Labor’s supports would do well to abandon talk of a “compromise” on the Employee Free Choice Act and instead offer discrete proposals.

For more reasons why the card check is a non-starter, here’s additional prepared testimony offered Monday at a meeting of the Senate Republican Conference.

  • Frank Cannon, a construction employee based in Virginia, will address how this bill would affect him and his coworkers.
  • Augustine Martinez, president of the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, will address how this legislation will affect small and medium-sized businesses throughout the country.
  • Kathy Gornick, owner of a small manufacturing business in Kentucky, will focus on the unique effects the bill will have on the technology industry.

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