Thursday, February 05, 2009

The EFCA Rumble

Workers and Corporate America are Ready to Rumble over the Employee Free Choice Act. The news and political pundits have swamped the newswires and blogs with an unending supply of feeds concerning the proposed legislation. So I figured I would throw my meager few cents into the pot by taking a look at a few of the people and organizations that are fighting against the EFCA.

Regardless how the corporate entities play this to the people, I have personally seen what happens to a group of workers who really want to organize their workplace. With the current limp labor laws that are in place, the workers who are targeted as the leaders in the campaign are innevitably forced to endure hardships and most of the time they are even illegally fired once the intimidation tactics against the workers finally crushes the organizing campaign. I'm not saying the EFCA should be interpreted as savior legislation, but it does level the field and removes the high ground from the battlefield. The list of business and corporate interests are long, but here is a short list of the business side that is fighting against the EFCA legislation.

  1. Randel Johnson of the US Chamber of Commerce has pledged $10 million toward the battle against EFCA. Johnson is an active participant and the Chamber of Commerce is co-chair of the following anti-EFCA organization:

    • Coalition for a Democratic Workplace...which has no workers as members, but does have the National Association of Manufacturers, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Associated Builders and Contractors, and the National Retail Federation as affiliates.

    • Americans for Job Security is a Chamber of Commerce front group financed by the insurance industry to fight political efforts by organized labor.

  2. Bernard Marcus, co-founder of Home Depot recently participated in a conference call, hosted by bailout recipient Bank of America, where he stated that the EFCA is the demise of civilization. Marcus insisted all the clients of those involved in the conference call send large contributions to groups working against the EFCA, as well as to vulnerable Republican Senators.
  3. Richard Berman who through his lobbying company has run numerous media campaigns criticizing and even ridiculing advocacy groups concerned with the dangers of obesity, smoking, mad cow disease, drunk driving, the minimum wage and other issues. Berman's companies operate several secretive front groups:

  4. Lee Scott, until January of 2009, was chief executive officer of wal-mart. Lee is well known for his implementation of corporate policies such as low hourly wage standards and anti-labor union policies which led to lawsuits involving 187,000 workers. When Lee was asked about EFCA, he replied, "We like driving the car, and we’re not going to give the steering wheel to anybody but us." Lee's wal-mart also holds political partisan sessions with it's employees and lists the EFCA on it's disclosure forms, as well as these other legislative issues which they opposed:

I know there are no CEOs out there who would agree to work without a contract guaranteeing their pay and benefits, so why are they so against the American worker having a similar contract? And why do so many of them participate in such atrocious behavior such as this?

  1. 30% of employers fire pro-union workers.

  2. 49% of employers threaten to close a worksite when workers try to form a union, but only 2% actually do.

  3. 51% of employers coerce workers into opposing unions with bribery or favoritism.

  4. 82% of employers hire high-priced unionbusting consultants to fight union organizing drives.

  5. 91% of employers force employees to attend one-on-one anti-union meetings with their supervisors.

The corporate interests continually market the spin for our citizens and rarely do they touch on the truth, and you never hear them honestly portray what really takes place during organizing campaigns. I see this as more of the same old corporate views and tactics which have brought America to it's gluttonous knees! If you choose to buy into the corporate spin, and think it has something to do with individualism...may Gawd help you...because you certainly do not have the sense to help yourself.


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