Even Union Members Don’t Want Government Intrusion Into Their Lives

Posted: Jan 26, 2010 12:01 AM
Even Union Members Don’t Want Government Intrusion Into Their Lives

Voters in Massachusetts sent a clear and unambiguous message on behalf of their fellow citizens: Americans want to be heard, they want a voice in their government and they want Washington to stop the overreach into their lives and businesses.

Elected officials are taking notice and beginning to understand that they work for the people and the will of the people is stronger than any one special interest. Yet, there is one group which didn’t seem to get the message. Union bosses continue to push and pressure their benefactors on Capitol Hill in an effort to secure passage of the job-killing Employee ‘Forced’ Choice Act or EFCA.

But new polling data from Nevada reveals that even the rank and file don’t want EFCA and Congress would be wise to heed the voice of Big Labor’s own members.

A majority of union households do not support EFCA, which would eliminate the secret ballot and allow the federal government to mandate contract terms on small businesses and workers alike without their consent. It’s been estimated that EFCA would cause 600,000 lost jobs in the first year it is enacted, with more to follow.

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In a new Workforce Fairness Institute (WFI) poll conducted by Public Opinion Strategies, over half (51 percent) of union households oppose changing the way unions are formed, and 66 percent of union households oppose changing the bargaining process in unionization, both of which EFCA would do.

Remarkably, 77 percent of all voters, as well as 77 percent of union households oppose a government arbitrator having the final say in determining contract terms. The Employee ‘Forced’ Choice Act’s key provision allows a government bureaucrat to set contracts that are binding for two years with no input from employers or employees.

These are astounding poll results, especially given Nevada’s penchant for labor unions in its largest city, Las Vegas. But these poll results also show something more obvious but rarely discussed – labor leaders are the only ones who believe that EFCA is necessary. As Big Labor bosses refer to EFCA as the “number one priority for labor”, it’s clear that rank-and-file union members do not share their agenda.

EFCA is designed to increase union membership which is at its lowest point in decades and would do so at the expense of worker freedoms and our economy. After all, when you take away workers’ rights to vote via secret ballot during union elections, coercion, intimidation and bullying ensue. Unions estimate that their chances of winning elections under this “card check” system in EFCA increase from 55 percent to 75-80 percent.

EFCA would bring in at least 1.5 million new dues-paying members, according to Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Chief Andy Stern. With average union dues ranging between $300 and $600 per month, if EFCA is passed, Big Labor stands to gain at least $35 billion (in 2009 dollars) over a 10-year period.

News reports indicate that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is mapping out a plan to get the Employee ‘Forced’ Choice Act through the Senate as quickly as possible so that opponents do not have time to voice opposition to the bill, essentially shutting down any dissent. Ironically, this job-killing legislation may even surface in Congress’ forthcoming “jobs bill”, which is supposed to help create jobs in this country.

But Reid is already on shallow footing in his state. The same poll that found union members opposing EFCA also found his re-election chances diminishing.

As union members hear more about EFCA and what it would do, solid majorities oppose it. Congress should take a cue from the citizens of Nevada as opposed to union bosses in Washington, D.C. and stop any consideration of this bill.

The American people clearly reject forced unionization and government’s intrusion into the workplace, and they clearly oppose the kind of backroom deals and paybacks that union bosses have engaged in for the past 12 months. These are the very same policies Massachusetts voters opposed this past week.

A majority of voters across this country, including union members, know that the Employee ‘Forced’ Choice Act will cause more Americans to lose their jobs. And come November, any Senator who supports it deserves to lose their job as well.