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Employees Stand to Lose If Congress Passes the Employee Free Choice Act


An epic struggle is going on in Washington right now as Big Labor and Big Business are squared off in the battle over the Employee Free Choice Act. Both "Bigs" are fighting hard for their respective positions and flooding the media and Congress with their reasons for passing or not passing EFCA. But, who is really speaking up and going to bat for employees?

Observing this conflict brings to mind the old African proverb which says: "When elephants wrestle, the grass gets trampled." The "elephants" are Big Labor and Big Business. Employees are the "grass" that is about to be trampled if EFCA or some compromise gets passed and made into law.

Two people who have actually opposed EFCA from the employees' perspective are former Senator and Presidential candidate George McGovern and former Labor Secretary Elaine Chao. Senator McGovern has openly opposed the passage of EFCA as un-Democratic because it takes away an employee's right to vote in a secret ballot election, free of peer pressure, coercion and intimidation. His message has been widely viewed and distributed. Chao has also opposed EFCA. Among other things, she has complained that the collective bargaining provisions of EFCA would take away employee rights to decide whether they will work under specific terms and conditions of employment or exercise their right to withhold their labors and strike.

Both of these experts are clearly on the right track and a review of how EFCA (or some compromise bill) would affect employees and their rights is certainly worthy of further analysis. This article looks at EFCA's three major provisions and how they would each adversely affect employees.

Big Labor and Big Business continue to fight and to throw money and arguments at their representatives to persuade them to vote for or against EFCA. If our elected representatives would just evaluate this proposed law from the perspective of rank-and-file employees, they would realize that this law is bad policy for workers, their employers and ultimately our economy. Hopefully, someone in Washington will wake up before they do irreversible harm to all concerned.

This article appeared in the July 27, 2009 issue of Bloomberg Law Reports.


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