Nancy Guy, Published June 10 2009
Free Choice Act business-friendlyI’ve seen many letters to the editor, television commercials and e-mails with regard to the Employee Free Choice Act, both pro and con. These communications claim that the EFCA takes away the worker’s right to a secret ballot when forming a union. Some of the e-mails I’ve received claim that passage of the EFCA gives unions access to organize employees of small businesses, which in turn threatens the backbone of business in America.
As a small-business owner, I became concerned and did some research. The EFCA is the first update to union organizing statutes in almost 65 years. I found that the EFCA does nothing to change existing National Labor Relations Act laws as they apply to small business – it simply does not expand the scope of current law to encompass businesses that are not currently affected.
Currently, the decision to hold a secret ballot when forming a union rests with the employer. The EFCA takes the secret ballot decision away from the employer and gives it entirely to the workers who are contemplating union organization.
The groups that sponsor the television ads and fill my e-mail box claim to speak for me as a small-business owner, but they do not.
I searched for statistics that indicate labor unions are turning their organizational efforts toward small business, and I can’t find any to substantiate that claim.
As a business owner, I support the Employee Free Choice Act. From my perspective, the dire warnings of assaults on the basis of our democracy and the backbone of small business in America are all a tempest in a teapot designed to mislead the general public. The opposition is not so concerned about workers’ rights as they are about not bringing these statutes into the 21st century.
Guy owns The UPS Store in Bismarck.