Battle Lines Draw in EFCA Campaign

The nation’s most conservative business organizations are joining forces with former House Republican leader Newt Gingrich in a multi-million dollar campaign to defeat the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA).

Passage of EFCA would allow workers to choose from two ways to form a union in their workplace: a secret ballot election or a card-check authorization procedure. Under current law employers routinely dominate the frequently long and drawn out election procedure.

The smear campaign by Gingrich & Co. includes radio and TV ads and heavy promotion of the Secret Ballot Protection Act, recently introduced Senate legislation that purports to “protect” workers from EFCA and defend their right to a secret ballot election.

The right to a secret ballot election is fully preserved and protected under EFCA.

Among the legislation’s co-sponsors (all Republicans) are: Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY), Sen. Sam Brownback (R-KN), Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC), Sen. Jim Bunning (R-KY), Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK.), Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN), Jim Inhofe (R-OK), Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KN), Sen. John Thune (R-SD), Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS) and Sen. David Vitter (R-LA).

In stark contrast to the far-right ideologues who are promoting a new crusade against U.S. labor unions, 39 of the nation’s top economists, including two Nobel Prize winners, issued a statement  this week that linked the seven-year decline in household income to the erosion of workers ability to form unions and bargain collectively.

“A rising tide lifts all boats only when labor and management bargain on relatively equal terms,” said the economists’ statement. “In recent decades, most bargaining power has resided with management. The current recession will further weaken the ability of workers to bargain individually. More than ever, workers will need to act together.”