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Small Business Owners' Guide to the Election

By: Kent Hoover, Bizjournals
Posted: October 17, 2008

page 13 of 13

If the Employee Free Choice Act is enacted, "every type of business will be targeted because [organizing] will be so easy," said Keith Ashmus, a partner in the Cleveland law firm Frantz Ward LLP, who chairs the National Small Business Association's presidential elections task force.

Only 16 million workers now belong to unions — 12 percent of the nation's work force, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Neil Golub, chief executive officer of Price Choppers Supermarkets, a 116-store chain based in Schenectady, N.Y., said the Employee Free Choice Act is the union movement's "last stand" to change "the playing field for collective bargaining."

Golub, who has been working on coalitions opposing the Employee Free Choice Act for the past two years, said the bill should be called the "Forced Choice Act" because employees would be coerced by union organizers to sign the union cards.

But Bill Samuels, the AFL-CIO's director of government affairs, said the only people circulating these cards would be co-workers -- union organizers are not allowed on a company's property. Some employers already voluntarily recognize the results of card check organizing campaigns, and "there's no history of coercion to sign authorization cards."

By Kent Hoover, Bizjournals, posted on MSNBC.com on Oct. 16, 2008