Small business owners support House efforts opposing Employee ‘Forced’ Choice Act

January 20, 2009

COLUMBIA, January 15, 2009 – J..J. Darby, state director of the National Federation of Independent Business, issued the following statement today in response to efforts by state legislators opposed to the so-called Employee Free Choice Act. 

“Today, 24 members of the state House of Representatives, led by Rep. Eric Bedingfield, filed H. 3305, a proposed constitutional amendment that would guarantee South Carolina employees the right to secret-ballot union elections.  

“Unions haven’t been an issue in South Carolina, but that could change if Congress passes the so-called Employee Free Choice Act, also known as card check. This legislation is designed to make it easier for unions to organize a workplace by taking away secret ballots and instead putting public pressure on employees to sign union authorization cards. This doesn’t sound like the Employee Free Choice Act. It sounds like the Employee ‘Forced’ Choice Act. 

“Secret ballots are important because they ensure that people can vote their conscience without undue influence from union organizers, employers, colleagues and friends.  

“Under card check, once a majority of employees sign cards, the workplace would be organized.  

“Once a workplace was unionized, employers would have 120 days to sign a contract with the union. If they can’t agree on terms, a federal bureaucrat would step in and dictate wages and benefits. 

“With the U.S. economy in the midst of the worst recession in a generation, this is absolutely not what we need. We need Congress to pass legislation that’s going to encourage small businesses to grow and create jobs, not prop up the unions. 

“Earlier, Rep. Bedingfield introduced H. 3222, a resolution urging South Carolina’s congressional delegation to vote against the Employee Free Choice Act. 

 “Small business accounts for 97 percent of all employers in South Carolina, so when you help small business, you help everyone.”