Not waiting for the new Congress to convene next month, NRMCA has joined the Coalition for a Democratic Workplace in an appeal to U.S. House and Senate members to oppose the Employee Free Choice Act, union-friendly legislation positioned for early-2009 Capitol Hill action
Sources: National Ready Mixed Concrete Association, Silver Spring, Md.;
U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Washington, D.C.; CP staff
Not waiting for the new Congress to convene next month, NRMCA has joined the Coalition for a Democratic Workplace in an appeal to U.S. House and Senate members to oppose the Employee Free Choice Act, union-friendly legislation positioned for early-2009 Capitol Hill action. A recent letter submitted by NRMCA and CDW regarding EFCA–nicknamed card check–cites provisions of greatest concern, i.e., elimination of a secret ballot in union representation voting and federal arbitrators’ decisive role in automatic two-year binding contracts. This legislation poses an assault on an individual’s right to privacy, the letter asserts, and a direct threat to economic growth and job creation.
The bill is an awful idea in good economic times and a catastrophic idea in the difficult economic times now upon us, adds U.S. Chamber of Commerce Executive Vice President of Government Affairs R. Bruce Josten. On behalf of the Chamber, which has committed $10 million to an anti-card check campaign and will lead next year’s fight on Capitol Hill against EFCA passage, Josten admonishes in a separate letter, It has been well established through court cases, precedent under the National Labor Relations Act, and testimony on Capitol Hill of former union organizers that the card check process of obtaining signatures is routinely characterized by harassment, intimidation, and coercion, including employees being threatened in their homes and other locations away from the workplace.
In the Senate and on the campaign trail, President-elect Barack Obama supported EFCA, garnering good will from organized labor that was reflected in the Nov. 4 results. Earlier this year, the Act cleared by a 241-185 vote in the House, where a simple majority rules, but not the Senate, where a 51-48 tally fell nine votes short of the three-fifths majority required for passage. Act provisions would ease organizing efforts at small and medium-sized businesses, including ready mixed and manufactured-concrete operators. NRMCA, along with the National Concrete Masonry Association, National Precast Concrete Association and Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute are tracking the EFCA as it carries over to the new Congress and past the threat of a certain George W. Bush veto.