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Union-backed Dems want to force disinterested workers to pay tribute without a secret-ballot election
There's a new player on the business community's team in its increasingly tough battle with organized labor. The Workforce Fairness Institute was recently set up as a 501(c)(6) group with a grassroots mission to work in more than 16 states against one of the unions' top legislative goals -- the Employee Free Choice Act.
The WFI is worried that the bill, which would allow a union to be formed in a workplace without a traditional secret ballot election, will gain considerable momentum next year if the Democrats win a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate. "We're out there educating the public on this issue," says Katie Packer, the executive director of WFI.
-- Peter H. Stone
Packer would not identify the WFI's funders. But sources familiar with its creation speculate that such big retailers as Wal-Mart and Home Depot -- a which are high-profile opponents of EFCA -- are likely among the group's donors. One source says the WFI is trying to raise as much as $10 million for its operations.
Packer says the group has a small board that includes herself, Tom Musser, the former chairman of the National Federation of Independent Business, and Joe Scarlett, the former CEO of Tractor Supply. Packer is a partner in the Alexandria, Va. public relations firm WWP Strategies.