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Poll: Americans Oppose Forced Labor Votes

Tuesday, 02 Dec 2008 05:38 PM

A majority of both Republican and Democratic voters oppose The Employee Free Choice Act, according to a new poll by Public Opinion Strategies of 800 general election voters.

Better known as the “card check bill,” the proposed act would give workers the right to unionize if a majority of employees publicly sign cards in favor of forming a union. Because it does away with the secret ballot, employers fear that such a law would allow unions to identify and coerce workers who otherwise would not vote to unionize.

"Across the ideological spectrum and across battleground states, significant majorities of Americans from every walk of life oppose this legislation," said Katie Packer of the Workforce Fairness Institute.

When presented with neutral language describing the key provisions of the bill, voters surveyed opposed both facets. They strongly oppose a card check system and instead support the secret ballot process and they oppose changing the bargaining process. The poll found that 59 percent of all voters oppose the elimination of the secret ballot in union organizing elections and 53 percent oppose binding arbitration in contract negotiations.

In fact, when asked their preference if a union tried to organize in their workplace: 81 percent preferred a secret ballot, with only 14 percent preferring the card-check process.

The survey found that even most union households oppose both key components of the Employee Free Choice Act with fully 53 percent of union households opposing the elimination of the secret ballot and 55 percent opposing binding arbitration.

In key battleground states (where President-Elect Barack Obama won with less than 55 percent of the vote), opposition to elimination of the secret ballot was 67 percent and opposition to binding arbitration was at 52 percent.

"Given the strong and broad based opposition to this bill, EFCA would be a very divisive issue for the new Congress to pursue at a time when getting this economy moving again should be the top priority,” said Packer.

"EFCA is a solution in search of a problem and the Workforce Fairness Institute is committed to educating the public on this important issue that could have a dramatic impact on an economy in recession.”

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