09.23.08

Enzi Says So-Called "Employee Free Choice Act" Will Deny Workers Fundamental Voting Rights, Barganing Power on the Job

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Mike Enzi (R-WY), Ranking Member ofthe Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, today called onthe Senate to reject efforts to resurrect the so-called “Employee Free Choice Act,” callingthe bill “a blueprint for the most radical and unwarranted change in employee andmanagement relations in over half a century.”

The bill, a top priority for labor union leaders, was passed by the House last year,but did not gather enough support for a final vote in the Senate. If signed into law, itwould compromise a worker’s right to cast a government-supervised, private ballot whendeciding whether to join a union, leaving workers exposed to pressure, intimidation andcoercion by co-workers and union leaders, Enzi said. Enzi’s comments came as Senate leaders held a press conference with businessowners whose bargaining power with labor unions would be significantly compromisedas the strength of union organizers would grow under the “Employee Free Choice Act.”

“Very simply this bill is a pay-off to labor unions to help them boost their saggingmemberships; and the cost of the pay-off is free speech, free expression and the right tovote,” Enzi said. “If we adopt this bill, labor and management will no longer negotiatemost new contracts and third parties will decide all the important issues such as pay,hours, benefits and working conditions.” “Despite its deceptive title, the ‘Employee Free Choice Act’ is not about employees and it’s not about enhancing employee rights. This bill would strip employeesof their most fundamental democratic right – the right to decide issues of importance in agovernment-supervised, private ballot election,” he added. Enzi said he is determined to block the “Employee Free Choice Act” from passage in the Senate.

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