WASHINGTON, D.C. | August 27, 2009
The American economy is sick and the best cure is jobs.
The national unemployment rate is currently 9.4 percent. That’s a slight improvement from the previous mark of 9.5 percent, but that’s like saying a 102-degree fever has improved … to 101.
The Employee Free Choice Act will not reduce that fever. If anything, it will only make it worse.
Experts have studied the act and have concluded that its ability to kill jobs will prolong an already lengthy recession. Here’s what Dr. Anne Layne-Farrar, an economist with the non-partisan firm LECG Consulting, said about it in March:
“[T]he unintended consequences of passing EFCA are likely to be significant. Increased unemployment and reduced labor supply are very high prices to pay during any time, but especially during a recession.”
Layne-Farrar, “An Empirical Assessment of the Employee Free Choice Act: The Economic Implications” March 2009
An April analysis from Applied Economic Strategies (AES) found similar results:
“[A] policy decision like passing EFCA is not cost-free; someone has to pay for it. Economic research and state comparisons indicate that American workers, including union members, will pay for a large part of the cost with higher unemployment, slower job growth and fewer job opportunities, and slower wage growth – costs that many workers can not afford, especially in this recession. Research also shows that higher labor costs are passed on to consumers through higher prices, and businesses though lower profits – two additional costs that will hit the economy just as profits have collapsed by 21.5 percent over the past year and family budgets are under great stress.”
Wilson, “EFCA: Who Pays For The Unintended Consequences of Increasing Union Influence,” 04.17.09
But perhaps the best job experts of all are employers themselves. They, too, don’t think the Employee Free Choice Act will help an already dire job situation, as the Rocky Mount Telegram of North Carolina reported in April:
“The owner of an Edgecombe County boat manufacturer told a congressman on Monday that his company, which plans to triple its local work force over the next three years, might not prosper if federal lawmakers pass a controversial labor bill that’s building momentum in Washington, D.C.
“U.S. Rep. G.K. Butterfield, D-1st District, asked to tour the World Cat manufacturing facility after learning the Tarboro-based company was investing $2.65 million to buy a competing firm and expand local operations by 120 jobs.
“World Cat President Andrew Brown used the visit as an opportunity to share his concerns about the Employee Free Choice Act, which was introduced last month in the U.S. Senate.
“Brown said he was troubled by the most controversial aspect of the bill, the so-called ‘card check’ provision, which would make it easier for workers to form unions.
“The measure, Brown told Butterfield, could drive a wedge between management and employees.
“‘We have a good relationship with our employees, and I think our employees like working here,’ Brown said. ‘We have a good partnership, and that has been important, especially with the economy the way it is. I don’t think workers always get what they sign up for with unions in a lot of cases.’ …
“Political posturing aside, Butterfield said he was impressed by the boat manufacturer that last month announced its intentions to purchase Glacier Bay Catamarans of Seattle, which makes twin-hull cruising boats. …
“‘We have a tremendous unemployment rate in Edgecombe County, and they’re doing something about it,’ Butterfield said. ‘They’re hiring and intending to hire more people in this facility. Our economy is not doing so well right now, as everyone knows. And, if we’re going to turn this economy around, we have got to get people working.’”
Hixenbaugh,“Owner, lawmaker debate labor bill,” Rocky Mount Telegram, 04.07.09
The Employee Free Choice Act will kill jobs in an economy that desperately needs them. It’s just another reason why EFCA must fail.
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