Katie Gage

For over a year now, the American public has waited patiently for their elected leaders in Washington to provide the necessary leadership to turn the U.S. economy around and put the nation back on track toward low unemployment.

At the same time, top union bosses have made it very clear that they are more interested in “union jobs” than they are in jobs. And they are more interested in their “take” from the small business owners of our nation than they are in the take home pay of their employees.

Going Rogue by Sarah Palin FREE

Labor bosses have been declaring that the Employee ‘Forced’ Choice Act or EFCA was the top agenda item for Congress due to their claims that it would strengthen the economy.

And over the course of 2009, that argument has become less and less credible as unemployment has risen and small businesses have spoken with a unified voice stating the additional costs and burdens associated with EFCA would force them to close their doors .

Until recently, Richard Trumka, head of the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) was touting the fact that the Employee ‘Forced’ Choice Act would be taken up immediately after health care.

According to The Hill, “AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Richard Trumka…pledged during a web chat on the liberal blog firedoglake that organized labor would work to pass healthcare reform in order to move onto one of its top priorities, the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA).”

Just this week, we learned, that in reality, the majority in the U.S. Senate will undertake a jobs bill separate and apart from EFCA.

According to Roll Call, “Top union officials say they believe Senate leaders are willing to move on card check early next year, after Congress acts on the health bill and a jobs bill.”

The key words in that line are “after Congress acts on the health bill and a jobs bill.”

Why? It reinforces what many of us already know to be true, Big Labor has lost its ability to prove that EFCA does anything but result in job loss and increased unemployment.

The Employee ‘Forced’ Choice Act would harm businesses, workers, and ultimately the economy by putting in place laws that would force unionization on employers and employees alike around the country.

Under EFCA, workers would no longer have the right to a secret ballot vote in workplace elections as a card check system would require a public declaration of either support or opposition to having their workplace unionized. Furthermore, workers would have no vote in their own contract negotiations, including the terms for wages, benefits, or workplace conditions, as EFCA would empower government bureaucrats with the ability to mandate contract terms for at least two years.

The fact is that our economy as a whole would feel the impact of this rapid, forced unionization as businesses would collapse under the economic strain and nearly 600,000 jobs would be lost within the first year the Employee ‘Forced’ Choice Act is enacted.

Labor bosses have wanted to see EFCA become law so that they could see a quick jump in membership leading to increased dues and political power. These dues would have a trickle-up effect, benefitting not just organized labor, but also their supporters on Capitol Hill. Left out in the cold would be workers losing the very rights these same union leaders have pledged to protect: the right to vote, free from intimidation and coercion, and the right to have a say and vote in contact negotiations.

As a result, Big Labor is now negotiating in secret with their political benefactors for their own personal “bailout” which would infuse them with $35 billion in new money over the next decade. They realize now that they have lost the argument with the American people and their only hope is to pressure and intimidate their friends into seeing things their way.

With every political expert in agreement that the issues driving the midterm elections are going to be jobs and spending, Members of Congress should be mindful that passage of EFCA would not only kill jobs for many Americans, but the first jobs lost just might be their own.


Katie Gage

Katie Gage is the executive director of the Workforce Fairness institute.