With a $10- to 20-million ad campaign designed to confuse voters about the Employee Free Choice Act (“EFCA”) underway, a bit of clarification is required.
During a debate on the House floor last year, Speaker Nancy Pelosi had this to say (courtesy, MissLaura at DailyKos):
“The Employee Free Choice Act is the most important labor law reform legislation of this generation. But this legislation is about more than labor law: it is about basic labor rights, about the rule of the majority free from intimidation, and about protecting jobs.
It is a guarantee – when a majority of workers say they want a union, they will get a union.”
The ad campaign includes a television commercial spot that depict an actor/thug from The Sopranos referring to Franken as “My pal, Al,” as if Franken was in league with the mafia. The commercial correctly states that while Sen. Norm Coleman (R-MN) opposes the ECFA, his Democratic opponent, Al Franken, favors it. However, the commercial incorrectly depicts the ECFA as something that union workers would oppose. Unions support the ECFA – and with good reason. It’s not about “secret ballots”; it’s about the freedom to organize, which is why union busters like the purposefully-named, Coalition for a Democratic Workplace (“CDW”), do not want it to pass.
According to the group American Rights at Work:
“A quick read of the legislation reveals that the bill does not eliminate secret ballot elections..[it] gives workers the chance to choose their union formation process-elections or majority sign-up…current union elections involving secret ballots bear no resemblance to political elections…”
The ad campaign unfairly, and incorrectly, accuses Franken of being anti-worker. The reality is that the ECFA was designed to protect workers in several ways, such as eliminating lengthy contract negotiation periods which are used to manipulate, bully and coerce workers into voting against organization. Although the bill passed in the House in 2007, it was “filibustered off the Senate floor” by Republicans.