From the National Summit, Observations

By June 17, 2009Economy, Labor Unions

Detroit Free Press, National Summit blog:

3:15 p.m. | To nobody’s surprise, manufacturing leaders at the National Summit today slammed the Employee Free Choice Act, a piece of union-backed legislation that would allow unions the ability to organize workers without the current necessity of a secret-ballot election.

“If a secret ballot election is good enough to elect a president of the United States, it’s good enough to decide all sorts of things, including whether you want to be unionized or not,” said Don Walker, cochief executive of Canadian auto supplier Magna International.

Former Michigan Gov. John Engler, now president of the National Association of Manufacturers, called the Employee Free Choice Act the “Employed Forced Choice Act.”

Crain’s Detroit Business, “Manufacturing critical to America’s future, summit panelists say“:

Manufacturing must remain a viable, functioning industry for the U.S. to succeed, said panel member Chip McClure, CEO, president and chairman of Troy-based auto supplier ArvinMeritor Inc.

“Questions are being asked by global industrialists,” McClure said. “Does the United States have the resources? Do we have the commitment from government, business and academia? And, do we have the ability to turn investment into jobs and growth? These are the key questions for which this panel must find answers.”

McClure suggested that the manufacturing sector can recover by rebuilding trust, managing capital and embracing new areas of demand, like the growing need for clean energy.

Fox Business News, “FBN at the National Summit in Detroit: Day Two“:

“We have to get the facts out,” Engler said. “The U.S. manufacturing economy is by far, in a way, the world’s largest, most successful manufacturing economy.”

Engler noted that the U.S. needs access to global markets, because manufacturing drives new patents, new technology and productivity. It is the government’s responsibility to turn around the state and get new businesses with new innovation to contribute to the necessary changes.  

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