Poll Shows Public Opposes Card Check
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Though a new nationwide poll released by the U.S. Chamber this week shows little public support for key provisions of the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA), a prominent labor union leader says his organization will continue to push for its passage.
The poll, conducted by Voter Consumer Research, showed that 61% of respondents nationwide oppose EFCA, which would make it easier for unions to organize workplaces. Some 48% said they strongly oppose, and 47% said they personally would be worse off if more workplaces were unionized.
The Chamber's poll results were released just days after AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka told listeners on NPR's Bill Moyers' Journal that he believed EFCA would be passed. "We're still pushing it forward. He [the president] still supports it. The vice president still supports it. A vast majority—at least 59 Senators in the Senate support it. And over a vast majority in the House support it," Trumka said on the January 29 show.
The poll, however, tells a different story, with a majority of respondents saying they worry that more unionized workplaces will result in job losses. More than half also said that they would be more likely to oppose a generic candidate who votes in favor of EFCA in 2010.
"America's message to Congress is crystal clear: ‘yes' to jobs, and ‘no' to special-interest union bailouts like card check," says Chamber Chief Legal Officer and General Counsel Steven J. Law. "Voters understand that if we want to put people back to work, Congress needs to stop wasting time with new government mandates and get serious about regulatory and tax relief."
The poll was conducted from January 13-19, 2010, using a sample of 1,005 voters with a 3.1% margin of error. Respondents were split among self-described Democrats, Republicans and Independents, though 42% of respondents described themselves as conservative on issues.
Meanwhile, the Chamber is urging the Senate to not jam through the nomination of Craig Becker to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) before Senator-elect Scott Brown from Massachusetts is seated on February 11. The Chamber is concerned that Becker, if confirmed, could try to do an end run around the legislative process by administratively imposing card check, as suggested by former NLRB Chairman Gould.
Becker's prolific writings, says Chamber Senior Vice President for Labor, Immigration, and Employee Benefits Randy Johnson, "suggest that his views on American labor law are far outside the mainstream and that his confirmation would disrupt years of established precedent and the delicate balance of law. It would be an egregious mistake and would set a dangerous precedent for the Senate to push this nomination through during a lame-duck period." The Chamber is opposing a nominee to the NLRB for the first time since 1993.