FAIRFIELD, N.J. — The Textile Care Allied Trades Association (TCATA) is supporting the “Stop Employee Forced Choice Act” day, a Feb. 4 event in Washington, D.C., organized by the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) to express opposition to the Employee Free Choice Act (H.R. 800, S. 1041), better known as the Card-Check Bill.
The purpose of the Card-Check Bill is to make it easier for unions to organize. Under current law, if union organizers collect signatures from at least 30% of the employees in a bargaining unit, the federal National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) will hold an election to determine whether to certify the union. This process is designed to balance the interests of employees, unions and employers in order to ensure that workers can hear all sides and vote in private, without intimidation or coercion.
With the Card-Check Bill, the union would be certified the moment it collects a majority of signed authorization cards, eliminating the campaign period and election.
“Under a card-check system, workers often face intimidation and pressure from the union and/or management as to how they should vote,” the Textile Rental Services Association (TRSA) says in an explanation of the bill on its website. “If a majority of workers are persuaded into signing an authorizing card, a union would be automatically certified, making it impossible for workers to hold a secret ballot election.”
The measure was defeated in the 2007 Congress, but is a top legislative priority for 2009, according to the United States Chamber of Commerce.
“Congress should listen to employees and continue to protect workers’ rights to private-ballot union elections by opposing the Employee Free Choice Act,” TRSA’s website says.
NAM has targeted senators from “priority states” — Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Indiana, Louisiana, Maine, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia — for meetings during the event. TCATA urges any company with operations in these states to contact their senators about their concerns. The association has prepared a sample letter that can be downloaded here. TCATA asks that it be copied on any such correspondence, as it wants to coordinate efforts with association partners.
For those wishing to participate in the NAM event, information can be downloaded at http://www.tcata.org/NAM-card-check.pdf. NAM will schedule meetings with senators on behalf of attendees.
Background information on this issue can be found at www.myprivateballot.com.