Small Business Owners Support Senate Efforts Opposing Employee ‘Forced’ Choice Act

Resolution opposes attempts in Washington to strip private ballots from union elections

LANSING, February 19, 2009 — Charlie Owens, state director of the National Federation of Independent Business, issued the following statement today in response to a resolution passed in the state Senate opposing the Employee Free Choice Act, also known as card-check legislation:

Today, 20 members of the state Senate stood up for the rights of workers and employers to guarantee all Michigan employees have the right to secret-ballot union elections.

Card check is designed to make it easier for unions to organize a workplace by taking away secret ballots and instead putting private pressure on employees to sign union authorization cards. Under card-check, once a majority of employees sign cards, the workplace would be organized. That doesn’t sound like the Employee Free Choice Act. It sounds like the Employee ‘Forced’ Choice Act.

Secret ballots date back to both the founding of our republic and the origins of the union movements. They are important because they ensure that people can vote their conscience without undue influence from union organizers, employers, colleagues and friends.

This is an attempt by labor leaders who have seen there numbers dwindle in recent decades to force unionization onto smaller employers, who employ more than half of the state’s workforce.

With the U.S. economy in the midst of the worst recession in a generation, this is absolutely not what we need. We need Congress to pass legislation that encourages small businesses to grow and create jobs, not prop up labor leaders by stripping the rights of workers.

NFIB is the nation’s leading small business association, with offices in Washington, D.C. and all 50 state capitals. Founded in 1943 as a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, NFIB gives small  and independent business owners a voice in shaping the public policy issues that affect their business. NFIB’s powerful network of grassroots activists send their views directly to state and federal lawmakers through our unique member-only ballot, thus playing a critical role in supporting America’s free enterprise system. NFIB’s mission is to promote and protect the right of our members to own, operate and grow their businesses. More information about NFIB is available online at