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Business fighting labor legislation

Industry News | July 1, 2009 | By:

A number of business organizations, including many textile and apparel manufacturers, are working to defeat legislation that would overhaul the way union elections are held. The Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) would direct the National Labor Relations Board to certify a union as a bargaining agent on the basis of a majority of signed cards if company employees select that option, and would also provide mandatory injunctions for unfair practices during an organizing campaign.

The Coalition for a Democratic Workplace sent a letter to all members of the U.S. Senate in May, stating that the legislation “severely undermines long-standing principles of balance and fairness in federal labor law.” The National Council of Textile Organizations and the American Apparel and Footwear Association were among the signers of the letter. The letter contends that the EFCA will interfere with the ability of U.S. business to succeed in a globally competitive market, and that union access provisions will disrupt the working environment.

The American Federation of Labor/Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL–CIO) contends that the legislation would enable workers to bargain for improved benefits, wages and working conditions in an atmosphere where they could not be unduly influenced by employers. Attempts to reach a compromise have so far been limited.

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