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Rich Gaffrey, Published November 15 2009

Employer already has ‘free choice’

In response to the letter written by Ruth Schepp, owner of Ivory Leathers, which appeared in the Oct. 18 Forum, that voiced her support for the Employee Free Choice Act:

Schepp started her company in 1992, which has grown to include six employees. Most of this happened prior to her allowing them to form a union using majority sign-up in the year 2008. She says she decided to let her employees join the International Association of Machinists because she thought they deserved a pension, fair wages, safe working conditions and a productive relationship with her, their employer. Is she telling us that her employees did not enjoy each of these prior to their joining the machinists union? Not likely.

Schepp’s story as a successful entrepreneur is one of millions that have occurred since the founding of this great country, all without the Employee Free Choice Act. She exercised her rights and liberties to make decisions she thinks will be best for her business and her employees. One of those decisions was to allow for a majority sign-up that unionized her business. All business owners and managers currently have these same liberties. I support her 100 percent.

However, she supports the passage of the Employee Free Choice Act, which, without consent of business owners, will permit union representatives to petition the employees, and if 51 percent sign the petition, the business will be unionized. This act, if passed, will deny all business owners and managers the same rights and liberties Schepp enjoyed when she freely allowed majority sign-up that unionized her business. She exercised her freedom to do this, but she wants to deny that same freedom to other business owners.