The United Fresh Produce Association has firmly reiterated its opposition to passage of the Employee Free Choice Act and looks to bolster member involvement in the fight against this volatile bill in the weeks and months to come.
As part of a coordinated effort against the legislation, United is mobilizing its Card Check Grassroots network as well as encouraging industry members to attend September's Washington Public Policy Conference.
"Our Grassroots Network members are up in arms, ready to do what it takes to defeat this bill, but unless we have the united voice of the industry, our prospects for victory are cloudy at best," United Vice President of Government Relations and Legislative Affairs Kam Quarles said in a July 8 press release. "During the Washington Public Policy Conference this fall, members of our industry will meet face-to-face with more than 140 members of Congress. The WPPC provides an all-important foot in the door and allows our members to communicate their concerns about a bill that would certainly harm our industry."
During a spring aflutter with legislative activity, congressional Democrats have increased their numbers and stand poised to push this legislation from bill to law.
"All of our stakeholders have a vested interest in the outcome of the debate over the EFCA," Mr. Quarles added in the release. "From the smallest family farms to the largest agricultural processors, the voices of the produce industry must be heard in order to derail what could be an extremely detrimental policy decision."
He added in the release, "Passage of the Employee Free Choice Act will eliminate the secret ballot, limiting employees' ability to fairly choose union representation while at the same time impose mandatory contracts on employers through binding arbitration. The bill would also sanction the efforts of employers against union organizing while giving union organizers a free pass. Clearly, this legislation is intended to upset the nearly eight- decade-old balance of power between employers and organized labor. Our current economic downturn is not an excuse to impose sweeping revisions to this law and significantly degrade our competitiveness."
Mr. Quarles encourages members and interested parties to capitalize on the opportunities presented at WPPC by contacting United Fresh Political Affairs Manager Angela Bezon at 202/303-3400, ext. 416.