Monday, December 1, 2008

The Employee Free Choice Act publicity machine ramps up

Last week, I was jarred out of a comfortable evening of family television by the following commercial:

We’ve grown accustomed to endless political ads after a presidential campaign that seemed to go on forever. It’s one thing to see an ad for a ballot measure that we all get to vote on. It’s another to see an ad for a bill on which only 435 Representatives and 100 Senators will have any say-so. It’s a testament to how well-funded and savvy this union-backed campaign is.

There is a very compelling story to tell on why the ECFA is simply bad policy. It’s un-democratic in doing away with secret ballot union elections. It’s draconian in imposing first contracts through binding arbitration. It’s bad economic policy in adding significant costs to companies that are struggling to make it by as is. Does anyone doubt for a second that huge labor costs built into collective bargaining agreements are a big part of the Big 3’s big problems? I’ve yet to hear one person express why the EFCA is good policy for anyone other than the labor unions. I’ve also yet to hear one EFCA supporter in Congress explain why it’s okay to oppose NAFTA provisions that did not mandate secret ballot union election in Mexico, but it’s not okay to have the same protections for our own workers.

It is important to contact your Representative and Senators to tell them to vote against the ECFA. (How to contact your Senator; Write your Representative). The EFCA is not a done deal just because we have a Democratic President and Democratic majorities in both houses of Congress. Let our elected officials know that a yes vote for the EFCA as quid pro quo for union support will result in a vote for the other party in the next election.