Voters Side With Small Businesses, Not Labor Bosses

Katie Gage
November 13, 2010

Last Tuesday, voters throughout the country sent a clear and unmistakable message: the economy is the top issue and they stand with job creators. While this would seem like its good news for just about everyone, there is one constituency who is operating at a deficit, and that’s union bosses.

Big Labor bet against small businesses, and in favor of job-killing legislation and policies that will set us back. And they experienced a rude awakening on Election Day. While labor bosses try to sugarcoat the news; I am hard pressed to find much for them to celebrate.

In Colorado, Kentucky, Nevada and New Hampshire, the Workforce Fairness Institute (WFI) formed state coalitions to inform voters where their candidates stood on economic policies, specifically the Employee ‘Forced’ Choice Act (EFCA). And in forum after forum, EFCA was part of the discussion and candidates either ducked the issue altogether or opposed it outright. The days of making excuses such as not having seen the language in the bill or not being sure it would ever come up for a vote, just didn’t cut it.

The reason EFCA was impossible to avoid was because small businesses banded together and made sure it was front and center. They understood the legislation was so deeply flawed that all it required was attention and it would never survive in the light of day.

In Colorado, Senator Michael Bennet opposed EFCA after sitting on the fence for over a year. He now returns to Washington, D.C. and is on the record concerning job-killing legislation.

In the Commonwealth of Kentucky, Dr. Rand Paul was an avowed opponent of both eliminating the secret ballot and mandatory, binding arbitration. His opponent spoke out in favor of job-killing legislation and lost by a wide margin.

In Nevada, labor bosses dumped in millions and millions to save Senator Harry Reid, and while they did, he ignored their top priority – the Employee ‘Forced’ Choice Act – and knew he couldn’t advocate for legislation forcing small businesses to close their doors in a state with over 14% unemployment.

And in New Hampshire, the Senate contest never really materialized as Representative Paul Hodes couldn’t make a pro-growth or jobs argument with his support for job-killing legislation opposed by just about every business organization in the state.

Last, but certainly not least, West Virginia perfectly exemplified the burdens faced by Big Labor bosses. Governor Joe Manchin strongly supported EFCA, even signing a letter to Senators Reid and Mitch McConnell advocating for the job-killing bill. But when questions arose on the campaign trail, Manchin did a 180° and came out against the legislation and its anti-worker provisions. The only thing missing was a commercial where he fired a shot through an image of it.

The resounding message from this election was that the small business community matters and voters will not tolerate an agenda that threatens its viability or existence. Outside of a few examples, those supporting the union boss agenda changed their positions on EFCA or lost at the ballot box. The question now is whether President Obama took note? His promises to “payback” Big Labor will not bode well with the people who showed up on Election Day 2010, and will do so again, presumably on Election Day 2012.

But the threat of job-killing action is very much alive in regulatory agencies where unelected bureaucrats do the bidding of special interests and ignore the will of the people. Therefore, the Workforce Fairness Institute (WFI) will continue to shine a spotlight on the actions of this administration – such as attempts to institute cyber card check and quickie elections exposing workers to coercion and intimidation – and we will continue to inform the public and activate our grassroots network to take action against these threats wherever they present themselves.

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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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