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More Proof Big Labor's Unionizations Costs Jobs

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of

Though it may be no surprise to some, union bosses continue to press their agenda for the forced unionization of workers and small businesses across the country.

Just the other day, Richard Trumka, president of the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) stated in relation to the Employee ‘Forced’ Choice Act (EFCA), “We’re looking at ways to bring that up as we speak right now, to look at things to attach it to.”

And last week, Anna Burger, secretary-treasurer with the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) called for “push[ing]” the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to enact portions of EFCA.

Union bosses will stop at nothing to get their agenda through – after all, even if Congress won’t pass the job-killing EFCA legislation because they know it’s politically unpopular and bad economic policy, then they will work to accomplish the same goals and enact portions of the Employee ‘Forced’ Choice Act through administrative action within the NLRB.

Michelle Malkin

By design, EFCA will make it easier for unions to get more dues-paying members forced into their dwindling ranks, yet the cost to workers and small businesses would be far-reaching and detrimental.

The Employee ‘Forced’ Choice Act removes the right of workers to vote by secret ballot in union-organizing elections, opening up employees to coercion and intimidation by union bosses. EFCA also forces workers into binding two-year contracts that determine wages and benefits. Businesses also suffer under these mandatory, binding contracts because these are determined by a federal government arbitrator who doesn’t have to have any knowledge of the business or industry. Those provisions will cause businesses to flounder or close, and put pressure on employees to join a union, thereby causing workers to incur additional expenses by having to pay union dues.

Think this type of situation can’t happen? Think again. In Michigan, 40,000 day care workers recently found themselves in a union, even though the majority never voted to join one. In fact, only 6,000 of them voted to be unionized but now everyone will be forced to pay dues and represented by a collective bargaining unit regardless. All this started when Michigan received federal funding through the Department of Human Services to give qualified (means-income tested) individuals assistance in applying for daycare. In order to get a piece of this money, union bosses were able to orchestrate a vote where only the majority of those voting decided the fate of every single daycare provider in the state.

This is essentially what EFCA would do – force workers and small businesses into unions. The loss of jobs would be great and the stability of small businesses across the country would be significantly impacted.

A new report by Lee Ohanian at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) clearly shows the ramifications of EFCA on the economy and points to some interesting findings that should not be ignored. He writes, “If the EFCA returns unionization rates to 1970s levels, it could reduce economy-wide employment and gross domestic product by close to 4 percent. This translates to about 4.5 million jobs lost and over $500 billion in lost output and income. Job loss resulting from EFCA will tend to fall disproportionately on workers with relatively low levels of education and skills. Ironically, these are the very workers the proposed legislation is intended to help.”

Ohanian’s conclusion is that to stimulate the economy, we shouldn’t “[suppress] competition through increased unionization.”

He’s exactly right.

EFCA would easily increase union membership. Andy Stern, the outgoing president of the SEIU, estimated that the Employee ‘Forced’ Choice Act would bring in 1.5 million dues-paying members. That’s a lot of money going into union coffers so they can in turn reward political allies and punish opponents.

Despite all the evidence, labor bosses are committed to hurting small businesses, disenfranchising workers and promoting policies that result in job loss. But that’s exactly the opposite solution our country needs in this time of economic crisis, and while some in Washington, D.C. may not understand that point, voters across the country certainly do.

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