The Worthless Anti-EFCA Study
by Deacon Blues
The effort by Corporate America and their lackeys in the GOP to kill off and even filibuster enactment of the Employee Free Choice Act has begun. With a straight face, the GOP claims that allowing unions to become bargaining representatives for workers based on a majority of checked cards rather than a secret ballot would lead to intimidation at the job site. Of course, none of these Republicans have any problem with the management goons and hired intimidators who roam workplaces now to "convince" workers that unions and secret ballots are not needed.
The anti-EFCA effort is being spearheaded by the Chamber of Commerce, and firms that are getting government bailout money (go figure). Like the Bush Administration did with the failed push for Social Security privatization, opponents of the EFCA are using dubious research. Here, opponents are hiding behind a questionable assertion that EFCA will cause terrible harm to the economy. They point to a study authored by an anti-trust consultant, paid for by low wage industries, which claims:
The precise effect on unemployment will depend on the degree to which EFCA increases union density, but for every 3 percentage points gained in union membership through card checks and mandatory arbitration, the following year’s unemployment rate is predicted to increase by 1 percentage point and job creation is predicted to fall by around 1.5 million jobs.
The "expert" who authored this study, Anne Layne-Farrar, from a firm whose work is bankrolled by industry, isn't even a labor economist. As for the study itself, it isn't even based on evidence in the United States, but rather three provinces in Canada decades ago, even after the author herself notes the challenges in doing so. She's paid by industry to reach these conclusions on suspect "evidence", just like climate change deniers do who are bankrolled by ExxonMobil.
Hat tip to Chris Kromm at the Institute for Southern Studies