Unions slave Dems to Job Killer Act

Related video: "Employee Forced Choice Act"
More EFCA stories: herecard-check: here

Dems give union bigs carte-blanche to ruin U.S. job market

Millions of U.S. jobs may head overseas if a labor bill backed by President-elect Barack Obama passes, the head of the Consumer Electronics Association said.

The Employee Free Choice Act, also know as the card-check law, lets employees form unions when a majority of workers sign cards, rather than only after employees vote in secret. Obama, who will be inaugurated on Jan. 20, co-sponsored the legislation as a U.S. senator from Illinois.

Employers may send jobs offshore to avoid dealing with interference from unions, Gary Shapiro, chief executive officer of the Arlington, Virginia-based association, said yesterday in an interview. The measure is the biggest concern for the group, which represents more than 2,000 electronics companies, he said.

Related video: "Employee Forced Choice Act"

"A lot of our manufacturers have told us they'll ship jobs overseas," Shapiro said. "In the tech industry, to be innovative and to be able to compete," employers have to be able to freely hire and fire workers.

Electronics companies have announced job cuts this year as a faltering economy curbs consumer spending. Sprint Nextel Corp., a member of the group, eliminated almost 5,000 jobs in 2007 and has cut more this year. Motorola Inc., also part of the association, said last month it would fire 3,000 workers.

Senate Battle

Democrats are short of the 60 Senate votes they will need to overcome attempts to stall the measure, which was defeated last year after opponents kept it from reaching the floor for a vote. Democrats gained six Senate seats in the Nov. 4 election, giving the party 55 spots. Three other seats in the 100-member Senate are still undecided. Republican Senator Arlen Specter and two independent senators support the bill.

AFL-CIO President John Sweeney said current labor relations, by requiring secret ballot, aren't giving workers enough of an opportunity to organize. The AFL-CIO is the biggest U.S. labor federation, with 10.5 million members.

"Employers, as you would expect, are opposed to it for their own selfish needs," Sweeney said this week in an interview on Bloomberg Television. Unions "need to counterbalance the corporate power that corporations have in this country."


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