Leslie Turk

Laf. chamber opposing Employee Free Choice Act

by Leslie Turk

The Greater Lafayette Chamber of Commerce today joined a national campaign launched by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to oppose the Employee Free Choice Act now pending in Congress. The local chamber says it hopes to "galvanize small business owners, workers, community leaders and citizens to preserve the rights and freedoms of Americans in the workplace."

Federal law currently requires a majority of employees working for a company to vote for union representation by casting secret ballots in a National Labor Relations Board conducted election, unless a company agrees to accept a "card check" establishing that a majority of its employees have signed union cards. The Employee Free Choice Act would allow unions that have somehow convinced a majority of employees in an appropriate unit to sign union cards requesting certification by the NlRB without the benefit of a campaign or secret ballot election. Those opposing the legislation say employers and many employees in a particular workforce could be forced into recognizing and bargaining with a union without any notice. The smaller the workforce, the easier it would be for a union to get a majority signed up.

"Regardless of what organized labor and those politicians who support the EFCA say, this legislation would be a drastic move away from a system that has been accepted as a fair and democratic process for decadces," says Lafayette attorney Greg Guidry, a labor law specialist who serves as vice chairman of the Lafayette chamber's public policy division. "This legislation is not going away," Guidry continues. "Businesses should do their best to garner opposition; otherwise, the EFCA will get enacted, and our largely non-union, flexible business culture in America and Louisiana could change."

Read more on the chamber's position here.