More on the EFCA

This week we expand a bit more on our consideration of the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA). Here is how Steven Greenhouse at the New York Times reported about the organizing efforts behind the EFCA on March 9 of this year:

"Business and organized labor unleashed what each called its biggest lobbying effort in history on Tuesday as Democrats in the House and Senate introduced legislation that would make it far easier for workers to unionize.

Their target: a handful of moderate Democrats and Arlen Specter, Republican of Pennsylvania.

Tom Harkin, Democrat of Iowa and one of the bill’s chief sponsors in the Senate, said it was not clear the measure had enough support to overcome a Republican filibuster there.

Labor leaders hoped a two-pronged strategy would get at least every Senate Democrat to back the bill: President Obama’s full-throated support and letters, e-mail messages, phone calls and visits to inundate lawmakers.

If passed, the law would make the biggest changes in the nation’s labor laws since 1935. Organized labor has called it the No. 1 legislative priority. Corporate America has vowed to defeat it.

The United States Chamber of Commerce and other business groups worry that if passed the legislation, the Employee Free Choice Act, would lead to unions adding millions of workers. Labor sees the bill as vital to reversing decades of declining membership and power." (Full-text)

Read the pending legislation, H.R. 1409, and consider Kate Bronfenbrenner's recent Briefing Paper for the Economic Policy Institute, "No Holds Barred—The Intensification of Employer Opposition to Organizing." Bronfenbrenner, who is Director of Labor Education Research at the Cornell School of Industrial and Labor Relations, provides in her work, "a detailed and well-documented portrait of the legal and illegal tactics used by employers in NLRB representational elections and of the ineffectiveness of current labor law policy to protect and enforce workers rights in the election process."

Much is at stake with this bill for unions, and what follows are a few examples of how a number of organizations have sought to lend a hand, for and against, the EFCA.

From the Coalition for a Democratic Workplace (CDW) and with shades of The Sopranos:

The CDW, backed by the US Chamber of Commerce, Retail Industry Leaders Association, Associated Builders and Contractors, and others is running targeted ads against the EFCA in Minnesota and Colorado.

"Thanks Union Bosses"
Produced by Union Facts

"Union watch-dog" Union Facts, a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit, has repurposed this ad to run against specific unionizing campaigns by the UFCW in Toledo, Ohio.

"Artists For Workers Choice"
Produced by Artists For Workers Choice, with assistance from members of IATSE and the WGA.

"Corporate Executive Speaks Out Against the Employee Free Choice Act"
Produced by members of the Writers Guild, East.

"Scary Movie - The Horror of the Employee Free Choice Act"
Produced by the SEIU

And to conclude this week, two national television ads from the American Rights at Work Education Fund.

"Hope & Change"

"The Real Secret"