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Jason Freehauf, Published May 01 2009

Sand parrots line of big business

I take issue with Duane Sand’s Sunday, April 26, column on the Employee Free Choice Act.

Sand claims that the current labor law has been working since the 1930s and should be left alone. Sand couldn’t be more wrong. If the current law works so well, then how do you explain 29,000 cases of workers being illegally fired or discriminated against by their employer in one year alone? There are obviously not enough real penalties in place for corporations if they willfully violate the law that many times.

Sand focused his entire anti-EFCA argument on the secret ballot issue, although the secret ballot is just one aspect of the act. The secret ballot election is coveted by the corporations not because of workers’ rights and privacy, but because it becomes an important union-busting tool for the company. Even when a majority of workers say they want a union, they now have to wait an average of 56 days to vote and say it again.

This time lag becomes a crucial component for the boss to have frequent one-on-ones to apply scare tactics in an effort to change the voter’s mind. Does the union organizer have this equal time? No. Union organizers are not allowed on company property. They are not standing over your shoulder and watching you sign a card as anti-EFCA folks want you to believe.

The act would level the playing field between corporations and workers. We need to strengthen our middle class and give workers a piece of the pie. CEO-to-worker pay in 1980 was 42-1; in 2008, 344-1. It’s time big business shares the wealth with the workers who make them successful. Contact your senators and ask them to co-sponsor the Employee Free Choice Act.