The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has launched a $1 million television ad campaign in five states, including Colorado, to oppose what it calls the Employee Free Choice Act, also known as “Card Check,” which would change the rules for workers who want to forn a union.
The business community says the legislation eliminates workers’ private votes when deciding whether or not to form a union. U.S. Chamber officials fear its passage would allow the federal government to set wages and working conditions, and impose one-sided penalties on employers.
The same television campaign was also launched in Louisiana, Nebraska, North Dakota, and Virginia.
Organizers hope by allowing small business and community leaders to voice their opposition to the Card Check legislation, the grassroots campaign will expand the bipartisan opposition to the bill, particularly in the Senate.
Advertisements have already begun running on local television stations.
“We’ve already been deep in to fighting the Card Check bill,” said David Csintyan, executive director of the Greater Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce. “Our board is opposed to it, and we’ve communicated that to our members.”
He pointed to local companies like The Broadmoor hotel that have watched hotels and resorts such as The Greenbrier in West Virgiania struggle financially because of union wage and hour pressures.
“The title, ‘Employee Free Choice Act,’ is a little misleading. It’s really about your employees no longer having a secret ballot. That’s not free choice,” he said.
Csintyan also said that most stakeholders believe the votes to pass such legislation just aren’t there. “Nationally 14 Democrats now say they won’t support it. This bill is not a fait accompli.”
“These ads send the message that Card Check is fundamentally hostile to Main Street values and jobs in Colorado,” said Steven Law, the Chamber’s chief legal officer and general counsel. “The grassroots opposition reflected in these ads is changing minds on Capitol Hill as evidenced by increasing bipartisan resistance to the bill.”
The bill needs 60 votes to advance in the Senate, though recent announcements of opposition by Senators Lincoln and Arlen Specter (R-PA) have left the bill’s future clouded.
Click here to view the television ads.