CONGRESS SHOULD REJECT BILL TO ELIMINATE PRIVATE BALLOT
For immediate release
Contact: Alisa Harrison, 202-628-8000
So-Called “Employee Free Choice Act” is a Detriment to Employee Privacy
WASHINGTON, March 10, 2009—The International Franchise Association voiced strong opposition to the Employee Free Choice Act, (EFCA), known as “card check,” introduced today in the House and Senate.
“If enacted, this bill will severely harm small businesses across the country at a time when they are struggling to stay afloat—entirely at the expense of employee privacy,” said IFA Vice President of Government Relations David French. A recent FranPulse poll indicated that 86 percent of Americans in franchising say that a provision in the so-called Employee Free Choice Act would hamper their ability to compete and provide jobs. “It’s ironic that as Congress debates proposals to stimulate the economy and create jobs, they are considering legislation that will stall new job creation.”
French said that the IFA supports employees’ right to organize, but that is not what this bill is about. “This legislation is a direct attack on the free speech rights of small businesses and the privacy rights of workers,” he said. “It replaces the law’s goal of fairness in union organizing with expediency, and it will deny employees their privacy and their opportunity for a free choice during union organizing campaigns.”
EFCA mandates union recognition if a majority of employees in a designated bargaining unit signs authorization cards, but provides no safeguards to ensure that signatures are obtained fairly and freely. The bill also provides for a binding arbitration process if a first contract is not agreed to within 120 days of union recognition. If enacted, parties to contract negotiations will have little incentive to bargain in good faith, and contracts ultimately will be imposed on workers and employers by a third party. Finally, the bill imposes dramatic new penalties on employers for violations of the National Labor Relations Act, but not a single new penalty is proposed for union or labor organizers.
The IFA is a leading member of the Coalition for a Democratic Workplace, CDW, which consists of more than 550 associations and organizations from every state across the nation that have joined together to protect a worker’s right to a private ballot when deciding whether to join a union. CDW research shows that union members do not support this bill. Some 85 percent of union households favor having a federally supervised election as a means to “protect the individual rights of workers,” and clearly see secret ballot elections as a basic right. The research shows that 72 percent agree that the binding arbitration provision in the legislation is “unwise” and “risky.”
“Franchised businesses will be in the crosshairs if this legislation passes, because franchising is where the jobs are,” French said, noting that franchised businesses operate in more than 85 industries and employ more than 21 million workers. “This bill is a top legislative priority for IFA’s members. They are making their voices heard in letters and phone calls to Members of Congress, all of whom were elected via private ballots. Congress should listen to their constituents.”
About The International Franchise Association
The International Franchise Association, the world’s oldest and largest organization representing franchising, is the preeminent voice and acknowledged leader for the industry worldwide. Approaching a half-century of service with a growing membership of nearly 1,300 franchise systems, 10,000-plus franchisees and more than 500 firms that supply goods and services to the industry, IFA protects, enhances and promotes franchising by advancing the values of integrity, respect, trust, commitment to excellence, honesty and diversity. For more information, visit the IFA Web site at www.franchise.org. For more information about CDW, please visit www.MyPrivateBallot.com.