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EFCA vs. Jobs

As President Obama huddles at a White House jobs summit “packed with business leaders and economists supportive of White House policies,” it might be instructive to consider the economic consequences of the so-called Employee Free Choice Act. After all, the legislation remains a top priority for union bosses – some of whom will be attending today’s White House gathering.

Consider an op-ed penned for the Huffington Post by Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Secretary-Treasurer Anna Burger outlining a jobs agenda. On Burger’s to-do list:

“We must pass the Employee Free Choice Act to once again protect workers’ freedom to form unions and allow them to share in the prosperity of a new 21st century economy.”

Burger, “It's Time to Get to Work on Jobs,” Huffington Post, 12.02.09

There’s just one problem. EFCA itself would be a significant hurdle for the job creation the President and his allies at the summit claim to be pursuing. Consider a study released earlier this year by economist Dr. Anne Layne-Farrar:

“[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

If the President and his like-minded economic advisors are serious about getting the economy back on track, they can start by disavowing EFCA and any mutation of the legislation that could be coming in the future. With card check hanging over workers and employers like an economic guillotine, the threat of the law alone is enough to chill the economic recovery America so desperately needs.