Harrisburg, PA (March 10, 2009) – Citizens to Protect PA Jobs, a broad-based coalition of businesses and concerned Pennsylvanians, is urging federal lawmakers to reject the deceptively titled Employee Free Choice Act, or "union card check," saying it diminishes worker freedoms, promotes divisions in the workplace and threatens jobs.
The legislation, which would effectively eliminate the private ballot for union organizing, hand the federal government power to dictate workplace pay and benefits, and force unfair mandates on small business, was officially introduced today in the U.S. House and Senate.
"We believe, and our core values clearly state, that managers, supervisors, workers and all associates are seen as equals and important members within our organization. We all have the same basic needs, wants and desires as human beings – just with different responsibilities and functions within the team," said Jon Newman, president of Lancaster-based Sylvin Technologies, Inc. "It is never easy to manage and succeed within all the dimensions of the human dynamic, but contrary to a few recent and well-covered examples of stupidity and greed on Wall Street, most U.S. companies ‘get it.’"
Newman said businesspeople work hard to create great jobs and places to work under the premise that happy, engaged, safe and fairly treated team members are what make for long-lasting, competitive, profitable and successful companies.
This is why he and others are so concerned by EFCA’s anti-worker, anti-business provisions.
"To create a labor law that promotes one-sided short cuts and an unaccountable higher voice for union organizers, who in essence are loudly promoting negativity and division to persuade employees to sign up, just seems unjust and un-American," Newman said. "It is the legal equivalent and prejudice of presuming that all American businesses and their leadership are ‘guilty before proven innocent’ of mistreating their associates – without discovery, indictment, trial or jury."
Kenneth Kaiserman, president of Kaiserman Company, Inc., said EFCA would drive a wedge between employers and valued employees at a time when all sides need to pull together to get through the recession.
"Nobody wins, except for maybe union bosses," he said. "It’s a bad idea that takes away worker freedoms and threatens the economy."
Newman said the current system allows all sides to be heard, in a democratic fashion, through an informational period and confidential private ballot.
"It’s not like the 1930s and 1940s," he noted. "We do already have a comprehensive and credible set of laws and oversight already in place. Unions and non-unions seem to have found their appropriate fit in the nation today."
Concerns about EFCA’s impact on the already struggling economy are another driving force behind the growing opposition to the legislation.
"I’m greatly concerned about handing the federal government the power to dictate workplace pay and benefits, which would occur under EFCA," added Christy Spoa, president and CEO of Ellwood City Save-A-Lot. "This is not the answer for businesses both large and small that are struggling right now to keep their doors open and keep their workforce in place. Job creators deserve better, but more importantly, our hardworking men and women deserve better."
Added Jamie Rowley, chief administrative officer for Wenger Feeds, "I’m worried about how this legislation would impact our ability to keep and grow jobs, in addition to the situation that could be created for employees if they don’t have the right to make a union organizing vote in private. This bill is not a good idea for employers or employees and will hamper business growth, further hindering an already bad economy."
Summed up H. Eugene Hollick, president of Elexio, "It’s a bad idea anytime, but particularly in such a volatile economy."
More information about the negative implications of EFCA and action steps that can be taken to prevent its passage is available at www.protectpajobs.com.