UPDATE 5/9/09: Check out this story from the PJStar. Local Democratic officials are furious, may drop funding for those involved in inviting Rove. Good for them!
UPDATE 5/8/09: The PJStar finally did the story, which includes information about a noon rally opposing this event by the unions. Be there!
PEORIA -- Here's an e-mail leaked to me, which is self explanatory but amazing in its ignorance! It went to all the movers and shakers in Peoria.
Why do they want to destroy the unions? Don't they know that ill-paid workers don't buy anything? Not cars, not hospital or medical services, not anything, and they don't pay many taxes either, so that governments can build the roads using Caterpillar equipment.
That's why the US is in the tank now: union membership in the private sector is at an all time low, and wages have dropped accordingly, so that people can't buy anything!
Yet business leaders want to keep that trend going? Amazing. Read it and weep.
Then it might be fun to organize and picket or disrupt the meeting!
Sent: Monday, May 04, 2009 2:36 PM
The Peoria Area Chamber of Commerce is partnering with the Economic Freedom Alliance and other business groups in opposing the Card Check legislation. On behalf of Roberta Parks and myself, I’d like to invite you to a special meeting on May 11 about Card Check that will feature Karl Rove. The information is below.
As you know, Congress is currently debating the most egregious changes in labor laws proposed in more than a half-century. Cynically named the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA), it is often referred to as “Card Check.” No matter what name it goes by, this effort by union bosses is nothing more than a blatant attempt to reverse a declining union membership through draconian measures that threaten the very underpinnings of American freedom, by:
* Requiring binding arbitration on a first contract between the union and employer;
* Increasing penalties on employers;
* Eliminating parameters regarding the size or scope of employers who may be the subject of unionization.
* Eliminating the right of employees to make a decision on unionization in a private ballot election.
Targets for unions will certainly include manufacturers, retailers, health care, service companies, insurance, or any other employer. In addition, the law allows for attempts to unionize just a division or section of a company.
Clearly, the Employee Free Choice Act is a ticking time bomb strapped to this nation’s struggling economy. While national employer groups are monitoring this legislation closely, the stakes are too high to simply hope that they can thwart big union’s clout in a DC-centric effort. For that reason, the presidents of seven major Midwestern business organizations from Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Wisconsin and Ohio have agreed to pool their resources and take the battle against the EFCA deep into the heartland of this nation.
Instead of dealing with lobbyists and staffs in our nation’s capital, we will be taking our message directly to the people in targeted legislative districts throughout the Midwest. Unencumbered by the need for lobbying etiquette, we will be using a number of methods to get the attention of members of Congress who are important swing votes on this matter—and making our opinions ring as clear as a bell.
This Midwestern group of business organizations will be using the Economic Freedom Alliance—a 527-chartered organization—to communicate our message through TV, radio, newspapers and direct contact from district business owners. It is our intention to become the “point of the spear” in America’s business community’s efforts to defeat these onerous new labor laws. I encourage you to visit our website. www.economicfreedomalliance.org.
On Monday, May 11, 2009, the Economic Freedom Alliance will be hosting a briefing on EFCA featuring Republican political expert Karl Rove at the Hotel Pere Marquette, 501 Main Street in Peoria, IL from 1 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. We are inviting to you attend to learn how your company may be affected by Card Check and how you can be most effective in combating its passage.
Right now labor groups control Washington and have the financial means to fight. In fact, unions have spent more than $350 million in the last election in an effort to grease the skids in Washington, DC. The consequences of EFCA will be severe and devastating to business. We can’t afford to stand back and let labor unions eliminate private ballot elections so that they can use intimidation and other tactics when unionizing....
The Heartland Partnership
100 SW Water Street
Peoria, IL 61602
UPDATE 5/7/09: WCBU-FM radio, the NPR affiliate in Peoria, reported today that the Chamber of Commerce has dropped its sponsorship of this event after members who are also affiliated with unions complained.
Here's another view of Card Check, one based on facts instead of prejudice:
Univ. of Ill. Study Finds No Cases of Union Intimidation from Majority Sign Up
Study analyzed Illinois public sector over six year period
(Washington, May 4) Majority sign up does not cause union or employer intimidation, according to a new report released by University of Illinois Professor Robert Bruno. Bruno analyzed data from public sector workers in Illinois for six years and found that out of more than 21,000 people who joined unions through majority sign up, a process sometimes referred to as “card check,” there was not a single proven case of union or employer intimidation.
The report states:
In brief, from 2003-2009, 21,197 public sector workers employed in state, county, municipal and educational institutions voluntarily joined a union. Most importantly, contrary to business claims, in nearly eight hundred petition cases, there was not a single confirmed incidence of union coercion.
The report comes as Congress considers the Employee Free Choice Act, legislation that will give workers back the freedom to bargain with corporations for better wages and benefits. It includes a majority sign up provision which gives workers the choice of how to form a union rather than leaving that choice in employer’s hands, as it is under current law. Opponents claim this will lead to intimidation and coercion from unions, but according to today’s report, that simply isn’t true.
“Today’s report shows that corporations are throwing more lies to keep workers from forming unions,” said AFL-CIO President John Sweeney. “Workers form unions to bargain for a better life, not because of outside intimidation. Workers need the majority sign up provision because it gives workers the choice of how to form a union, not corporations.”
According to the findings, the lack of intimidation on either side also shows that when there is a clear path to forming a union, the workplace as a whole functions more smoothly with no friction.
The report concludes:
As is true in so many other policy areas, on the subject of union representation the states are incubators for new ideas and practices. Illinois has demonstrated that a majority authorization petition can genuinely determine the will of the employees to be unionized and provides a functional, largely non-adversarial and event-less process for insuring a fair work environment for everyone.
According to Bruno, the Illinois state law is very similar to the proposed Employee Free Choice Act majority sign up provision. The report, commissioned by the United Association for Labor Education is the first part of a nationwide report which analyzes similar state laws.
-- Elaine Hopkins