Crist Making A Mistake With Appeal To Unions

Katie Packer
June 5, 2010
The Palm Beach Post

Florida’s unemployment rate is 12 percent. Small businesses are struggling. Elected officials and those seeking public office should refuse to support policies that will result in additional unemployment.

Unfortunately, something as simple as saying “no” to job-killing legislation can become complicated when politics gets in the way. This appears to be the case for Charlie Crist. Recently, while speaking to the AFL-CIO, Gov. Crist stated that he would be “open” to the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA), which would remove secret ballot elections for union organizing and expose workers to union intimidation with a card-check system.

Another harmful component of the bill is binding interest arbitration. Instead of salaries and benefits being settled between employees and employers, a government-appointed bureaucrat could dictate contract terms for at least two years. This arbitrator could cause an employer to downsize or shut down.

Gov. Crist’s campaign website states, “Floridians who can work, should work.” Gov. Crist should commit to that as more than just a slogan and oppose the EFCA. If he does not, he should not be surprised to find that the first job lost due to his support for EFCA is his.

Alexandria, Va.

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AZ Daily Sun--Coconino Voices: PRO Act legislation would hurt local businesses

— 05.13.2021 —
By: Julie Pastrik Arizona businesses and workers have had an incredibly challenging year given the economic slowdown that followed in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. However, local businesses and industries across the state are resilient and on the road to a strong recovery that will mean more jobs for Arizona workers and increased economic development to strengthen our communities. That is, as long as Congress does not move forward with potentially devastating legislation that would hurt local employers and employees alike while impeding our state’s economic recovery. Unfortunately, some members of Congress seem determined to do just that by pushing through the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act. As harmless as the name may sound, the PRO Act would have serious repercussions for local businesses, particularly smaller ones, while undermining long-standing rights for employees and threatening the growing gig economy that has helped provide much-needed income for so many during this time. Arizona is fortunate to have leaders like Senators Mark Kelly and Kyrsten Sinema, who have both refrained from joining the vast majority of their Democratic colleagues in cosponsoring the PRO Act. In a slap in the face to Arizona workers, the PRO Act removes one of the most fundamental rights a worker has when it comes to voting in elections to determine whether to unionize: the secret ballot. Instead, workers could be forced to sign union authorization cards in front of other employees, their employer, or union organizers. This bill would also destroy workers’ right to privacy by allowing unions access to personal information, including their home address and personal phone number. If that doesn’t open the door to union intimidation and harassment, I don’t know what does. As if that was not bad enough, the PRO Act would create major new challenges for Arizona businesses, making it harder for them to create jobs, expand in their communities, and even keep their doors open. It would redefine what it means to be a “joint employer” under national labor law, greatly complicating existing relationships between franchisors and franchisees as well as between business owners, contractors, subcontractors, and vendors and suppliers. At the same time, it would interfere with attorney-client confidentiality and make it much more difficult for small businesses to secure a legal advice on labor issues. Particularly harmful during these times, the PRO Act would apply a failed policy from California to national labor law by using the “ABC” test to determine whether a worker is an independent contractor or employee. This makes it much harder to qualify as an independent contractor, threatening the freedom and flexibility that tens of thousands of Arizonans find in independent contracting and gig economy work. Ultimately, the PRO Act is bad public policy that only works for union leaders to inflate their falling ranks while threatening workers’ rights, undermining small businesses, and jeopardizing a growing part of our economy. This is not a good solution for Arizona, and Senators Sinema and Kelly should stay firm and not cosponsor this misguided legislation.
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